Popular mobile check-in application Foursquare today announced on its blog that it has made a few updates to its main website. I couldn’t help but wonder if the updates are in preparation for the site to allow users to check-in from their desktops.
The company pointed out two prominent changes that might support the idea. First, Foursquare cleaned up the main page for logged in users. The page now spotlights a friend’s activity stream, along with a section for newly crowned mayors and, or course, a section for downloading the mobile apps. Second, the website now offers an easy-to-use “Find New Friends” tool, which also helps with managing friends. The process lets users connect through Twitter and Facebook to find friends who are using Foursquare, but might not be Foursquare friends yet. Users can also search through Gmail or send general email invites.
As someone who accesses Foursquare.com almost daily (don’t ask), I found that the website had more than just a few changes, though most people probably wouldn’t notice since the mobile apps are currently the only way for users to check-in to a location.
Several changes that I quickly noticed include the disappearance of the “friend request” section, which allowed you to see friend requests that had been sent out but were still not accepted yet. Also there appears to be more viewable friend data, such as “last seen” check-in location and timestamp. Also, the top of the page lists the user’s location with a descriptive roll-over explaining this is the last town and state you checked into and is only viewable by you.
All in all, I think the updates to Foursquare.com mainly focus on giving users the ability to quickly login and see what friends are up to, but don’t necessarily prep the site to be able to check-in from the desktop. Though it would be nice for those of us who work remotely and wouldn’t mind checking in to Starbucks from our laptops.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition:
Chime in here, and we’ll share the results