the-all-new-foursquare.jpg Today Foursquare released their highly anticipated update dubbed “The All New Foursquare”. I say highly anticipated, because they’ve been teasing the world for the last week or so via Twitter with the #allnew4sq hashtags, and a few cryptic tweets that offered tiny glimpses into what we could expect.

So after a week of hype, and nearly a year since their last major overhaul, the update is here. It’s prettier, more powerful, and its potential benefit to your business is huge. Especially if your business is in the following categories: Sights, Food, Coffee, Nightlife, Shopping or Arts. If you are in those aforementioned categories, you’ll also gain visibility in the Specials and Trending sections of the updated Explore section.

New Design
With this new design we are likely to see a spike in renewed usage of the app. And if the design is a significant improvement on the last version, which I believe it is, then we’ll see Foursquare usage numbers increase as a result. How can your business benefit from this increased usage? Claim your Foursquare listing, and make sure it’s up to date and completely filled out.

Explore–Foursquare’s venue recommendation section of the app–has a new simplified look and does a good job personalizing recommendations for nearby venues based on the user and the user’s friends’ check-in activity. Map markers that are orange are contrasted from those in blue, and represent the venues that have check-in specials. In order to take advantage of this for your business, be sure to add a special to your business to stand out on the map.

Frictionless Sharing to Facebook Timeline
This is perhaps the most underrated features of the new update. This feature will push all of a user’s Foursquare activity and push it to their Facebook page, and that means more visibility for your business. The increased visibility to a user’s Facebook network is another reason for you to claim, update and add a special to your business on Foursquare. Imagine you have 50 users check-in today and each of those users have 200 friends on Facebook. If those customers are all using timeline via Foursquare, that’s a minimum reach of 10,000 impressions for your business per day.

Like and Dislike Buttons
In the all new Foursquare, venues now have like and dislike buttons. The like/dislike buttons on a venue will help Foursquare improve the venues it recommends for users via Explore. It’s important to realize that this can be a reputation indicator similar to a rating or a review, so like always, it’s important to keep your customers happy.

It also appears that Foursquare is looking to expand into much more than just the most popular mobile check-in app. Foursquare wants to become more social.

Each user’s check-ins also have a like button now, and this like button will create more stickiness via interaction and engagement in-app after the check-in between users. This is a user engagement number that has obviously been lower than Foursquare has liked.

I give the new version of Foursquare and their evolution into a business recommendation platform two thumbs up. What do you think?

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