Foursquare today announced that it would begin rolling out a new push recommendations feature, initially to Android users and later to iOS. Leveraging all the company’s check-in and social data it will proactively notify users of in-venue tips and recommendations or interesting things nearby:
[W]hen you sit down to dinner, we might ping you with the can’t-miss dish on the menu (like the screenshot from a sushi bar below). Or when you arrive in a new neighborhood or city, we’ll suggest a few places that your friends love (like below, after you’ve wandered into a new neighborhood). It’s like having a ton of local friends stuffed in your pocket wherever you go.
The difference between this new feature and Explore is that the latter required active user engagement with the app. The new capability requires nothing of the user except that she have the app on the phone.
The functionality is not unlike Google Now (persistent search) or Google’s Field Trip app (local discovery). Separately Foursquare told Danny Sullivan it has no immediate plans to develop a Google Glass app, which one might have expected the company to launch.
Postscript: Bloomberg reports that Foursquare is in “talks with multiple large technology companies about a potential strategic investment.” According to the article investors are more bullish on the company in the wake of new ad units and monetization programs.
Microsoft has been mentioned as one of the potential investors.
Bloomberg also reports that, according to the company, “Foursquare will have 50 to 100 advertisers buying the post-check-in advertising product . . . The self-serve advertisements will be open to the company’s entire base of merchants by the end of the year.”