The Explore feature for many Foursquare users was kind of a personalized concierge service to point you to the best that your city offered; complete with recommendations from those you tend to trust – your friends. Today, Foursquare is opening up the Explore service far beyond their already large user base (reported at 25 million users), everyone else.
It’s a big move and change of focus for the once meatspace social gaming site (yes, collecting badges was/is as much a game as collecting Trophies in PSN or Achievements in XBox Live) that ventures into something entire for the company – offering up recommendations to people that they may not have much info on (other than their location of course). It’s a bold move that speaks to just how much Foursquare trusts its users to provide great insight on their relative markets. What separates a Foursquare recommendation query from, say, Yelp, is that they’re looking more than just a location.
Foursquare’s head of search Andrew Hogue notes that Foursquare “won’t necessarily suggest a bar at 8AM” suggesting that their search engine is factoring non-location based factors into a query. We think that’s just awesome (ever search for a vegan-friendly breakfast and get a bunch of restaurants that only serve dinner? It sucks.) and are looking forward to what they plan for the future; one that will also factor in things like weather as well.