Looking more and more like a local search and reviews site, Foursquare is launching a few brand new features with its Android update today.
The central new feature is popular places recommendations.
“When you’re in a new city or neighborhood, Foursquare will show you popular places, sites, and must-see attractions,” Foursquare wrote in a blog post today. “When you’re on your home turf, we’ll tell what spots are ‘new and notable’ — places that have recently opened in your area.”
This feature pops up in Android devices as soon as users open the app. There’s also a search bar for people to look for specific items, like pizza or running shoes. The idea is to be useful to both tourists and locals.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s essentially what Yelp does too. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley hinted at last week’s South by Southwest Interactive that he has plans to tread into Yelp territory — chucking his company’s check-in service and taking over local search.
Foursquare has been slowly morphing from a check-in social network into a more comprehensive location search engine over the past year. In November, the company launched its 10-point scoring system for local business and in October it launched its new Web site, which is open to nonmembers and has a prominent search box. Just last month, it debuted venue pages that users could share with non-members.
The company’s new Android app update is just one more step in this same direction.
“Looking for somewhere to eat after the movie? Open up the app to see restaurants other people typically go to once they leave the theater,” Foursquare wrote today. “Or maybe you want to grab a drink after dinner — we can find great places for that, too.”