Travel Tech

Over the last few years, one of the most popular websites related to the travel industry has been Foursquare. The social networking website, which is primarily aimed at users of mobile devices, has achieved a very significant following of reportedly 45 million users since it was founded in March, 2009. Foursquare has been focused on providing a location-based sharing application, with its function of offering regular users ‘mayorships’ influencing video games such as the recent ‘Watch Dogs’.

Foursquare announces radical shake-up

But a recent announcement means that is all about to change. After five years of gamifying and location-based sharing, Foursquare is making the biggest change to its functionality in its short history. From now on, Foursquare will operate as a recommendation service, intended to rival other mobile players in this field.

This follows on from the recent announcement that Foursquare would be splitting its main application into two separate parts. Swarm would hitherto deal with social location sharing, while the Foursquare application would be based around personalised location recommendations. Swarm has performed reasonably well since it was initially set up in terms of downloads, and on the back of this the developers have now decided to completely change the look of the Foursquare app.

Aside from the alteration in functionality, Foursquare has also been completely redesigned aesthetically. The new Foursquare has a completely new look, with a vivid and attractive blue and pink colour scheme at the centre of its rejigged appearance. The Foursquare app also attempts to engage with users immediately by offering them a number of ‘tastes’ which may be to their particular preference; similar to the Beats app, but focused on food instead of music.

The 'Beats' of eating out

On first glance, the new Foursquare greatly resembles a food restaurant blog, except that it offers users a great deal of interactivity. With the content of the application having been split up into categories, as users browse through the Foursquare app, they are presented with recommendations from a wide variety of different areas. These suggestions are based on the recommendations that have been given to the Foursquare app, and the more users browse the application, the more intimately it gets to know your personal preferences.

Aside from the automatically generated searches that pop up when the Foursquare app is opened, users can also generate their own searches. Once these appear on the screen of users’ mobile devices, there are a variety of options too filter the results, including a map-based ability to list results by location and proximity to user. Other factors taken into consideration with regard to recommendations include the number of sign-ins that users have instigated at various locations, comparison of users’ data related to Foursquare friends, and the rating of restaurants from other Foursquare users.

In addition to the ability to follow your everyday friends and acquaintances, Foursquare also gives uses the opportunity to follow one of its many prestigious launch partners. Publications such as TimeOut, the Washington Post and the LA Times have partnered with the application, meaning that you don't have to base your notion of whether a restaurant is good or bad on the mere opinions of your peers. Full access to media critiques and reviews are available, and it is possible to build up your Foursquare preferences purely on the basis of such press coverage.

Foursquare to take on the Travel Industry

As mentioned previously, the new Foursquare app will be competing directly with other ratings and recommendations sites and apps. This is a growing and large marketplace, with the latest version of the TripAdvisor having already attracted around 3/4 billion users. TripAdvisor also generated $762 million of revenue in 2012. Given that the revenue of Yelp touched $250 million in 2013, this is a billion dollar market which Foursquare is attempting to tap into.

Foursquare will offer opportunities to many travel-related businesses, especially as the mobile industry continues to grow exponentially. Recent research has shown that almost all travellers use mobile devices while on holiday, and it is easy to envisage a highly competitive marketplace as mobile continues to boom.

More from #DTTT

  • In June we present:
    Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 12
    DTTT · Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland With the staycation set to become the new travel trend as restrictions ease, how can destinations adapt to attract the domestic market and restart tourism? This is a key question for the industry which sees the staycation as a solution. The staycation is a movement [...]
    #Staycation #recovery #COVID-19 #strategy #tourism #Visit Greenland
  • In May we present:
    What’s the appetite for Travel? with Beautiful Destinations – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 11
    DTTT · What's the appetite for travel? with Beautiful Destinations Recovery is now in sight for many destinations and much is being done to improve destinations to make them safe and ready for travellers when they arrive. Whilst the focus has been on the impact to destinations for much of the pandemic, this has now [...]
    #recovery #COVID-19 #beautiful-destinations #industry #tourism #travel
  • In May we present:
    Sustainability Opportunities for Destination Recovery with Dr Cara Augustenborg – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 10

    Sustainability is a key issue for the industry as it prepares for recovery. The fast-moving pandemic has been severely disrupting tourism and its impact will change the industry, academic engagement, and customer behaviour. The question many destinations are now asking is how can we be sustainable post COVID-19? We dedicate our tenth Tourism Impact call […]

    #ecotourism #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    Digitalisation and Sustainability solutions for recovery – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 9

    As part of our efforts to react and support the industry, the #DTTT began hosting our popular Tourism Impact calls 2 months ago. Now going into the ninth consecutive week, we reflect on what has been an interesting and insightful journey so far. In many lively discussions, we’ve shared perspectives about COVID-19 impact, destination strategy […]

    #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #digitalisation #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    The Nordics COVID-19 Response

    How have the Nordic countries responded to the crisis? At the #DTTT, we have seen different approaches throughout the Nordic region and wanted to find out more. In a highly insightful interview we brought together the Tourism boards representing the capital cities of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark to discuss their response to the COVID-19 […]

    #The Nordics #Response #COVID-19 #DMOs #marketing #strategy
  • In May we present:
    What travel will look like in the future with Doug Lansky – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 8

    In our highly anticipated eighth Tourism Impact call, we discussed the different approaches of destinations who are at various stages of the recovery process. Recovering destinations are now looking for innovative product solutions as restrictions begin to ease and businesses start to re-open. Whilst for other destinations their recovery plans are still at the research […]

    #Doug Lansky #COVID-19 #DMOs #industry #strategy #tourism
Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank