Whether taking a page from Facebook or simply following a logical development path, Foursquare has taken steps toward becoming a “platform.” Last week the company announced “connected apps.”
Connected apps allow third party developers to integrate their apps and content into Foursquare. There are a number that showed up with the announcement, among them: Foodspotting, GroupMe, Instagram, Path and the Weather Channel.
These connected apps will extend the content and functionality of Foursquare, tied to location or particular venues. It also gives developers yet another “app store” (or app gallery as Foursquare is calling it) for discovery of their apps. In addition to connecting/incorporating them into Foursquare, users will also be able to download apps from the gallery.
Foursquare says it wants to see how developers and end users react before more widely opening up the program. However developers can get “preview” access to the new API already.
To the extent the program takes off it repositions Foursquare as a “platform,” rather that merely a site/app. It also makes Foursquare a much broader utility for both users and developers, who can now potentially use connected apps and the gallery to drive adoption of their apps. Additional, potential revenue streams also open up for the company in this new platform scenario.
As Foursquare evolves it becomes more and more interesting. The company is the exemplar of the “SoLoMo” phenomenon and now a potential hub for other location-based apps.