Foursquare familiarizes the unknown, adds nearby locations to business pages

Foursquare is attempting to make the unfamiliar less mysterious with the addition of familiar nearby places to hundreds of business pages Friday.

Foursquare, the New York-based location check-in startup, gives merchants the ability to operate their own business and brand pages to share tips and connect with customers.

Now, the company is giving businesses a nearby map that collects all of their venues on a map so would-be patrons can find the closest location. If you’re on a specific venue page, Starbucks for instance, you see other close-by Starbucks locations. The feature is unfortunately web-only for the time being, we’re told.

The update may seem minor, but Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley told VentureBeat that this improvement points back to the significance of the startup’s growing data pool. Foursquare’s data structure now knows the difference between big chains, small franchises, and mom-and-pop shops, he said, which gives the company the ability to group venues and surface them for members with the appropriate context.

How might something like this come in handy? You could quickly find the nearest Starbucks locale for your coffee fix, visit the closest 24 Hour Fitness on your business trip, or discover that your favorite restaurant has more locations than you realized.

The addition also comes as Foursquare continues to make both incremental and major improvements, including Explore recommendations and menu items, to the overall web experience. Foursquare’s website sees roughly 1 million visitors each day. As such, the property represents an important channel for the startup as it strives to be the go-to source for location-based content.


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