Business

Foursquare launches Time Machine, an amazingly trippy way to explore your check-in history

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If you’ve been using Foursquare since its beginning, chances are you have hundreds — maybe thousands — of check-in data points with no way of connecting them.

Foursquare is finally changing that. With the new Foursquare Time Machine, Foursquare is finally giving people a way to navigate their check-ins, allowing them to visually relive their history with the app. In the words of fellow VentureBeat writer Sean Ludwig, it might just be the most amazing thing Foursquare has ever done. (Another reaction, this one from another friend and constant Foursquare user: “OMG. This is incredible.”)

While both reactions dabble in the realm of hyperbole, it’s easy to see why Time Machine is instantly appealing to longtime Foursquare users: People like tracking where they’ve been, and Time Machine finally gives him a way to visualize all of that data in a way that’s comprehensive, interesting, and a bit trippy. It’s the sort of feature that only Foursquare could create.

The thing to keep in mind with Time Machine, however, is that it’s only as impressive as the wealth of its underlying data, so for people like me who have a paltry 63 check-ins, the resulting visualization can be a bit underwhelming. (The shot above is the Foursquare history of Mr. Ludwig, who clearly enjoys dining out.)

Notably, the entire idea is almost identical to the visualization Foursquare chief executive officer Dennis Crowely likes showing off during his presentations. If you’re still trying to get a sense of what Foursquare’s biggest strength is, I’ll sum it up in three words: data, data, data.


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