AmEx is the king of check ins — and it could own local

Getting enough data to make local recommendations has proved tough. A restaurant reviewer writing for a local newspaper might write a hundred or so reviews a year. Zagat might cover several thousand in its printed books. Yelp provides near universal coverage in the United States, but it still doesn’t have enough information to provide useful recommendations.

suspicious man

Google Schemer is a deliciously diabolical attack against Foursquare

Oh Google, your aptly named new product Schemer doesn’t have us fooled. We know you’re calling it a new way to discover things to do, but we see this for what it really is — an assault against Foursquare and the company’s hold over quality location-based content, city tips and to-dos.

Ness, the iPhone app that tells you where to eat, hooks up with Facebook

What’s for dessert? Turn to three month-old Ness for the answer, and its lovely-looking iPhone app will find you the best nearby spots, suited to your exact tastes. Today the application received its first update, and it now further personalizes and socializes the food discovery process.

Foursquare 3.0 will recommend where to check in

Foursquare, the hot location-based check-in startup, today announced on its blog that it will be releasing Foursquare 3.0 later today for Android and iPhone. The new version comes with several feature updates, but probably the most notable is the much-rumored recommendation engine.

Filmaster looks to be “Foursquare for films”

Filmaster, a recommendation engine for movies and shows, announced today that it’s launching an application programming interface, or API, for developers looking to use the service’s data and algorithms in their own applications or websites.

Google launches local business-recommendation engine Hotpot

Google today announced on its blog the release of Hotpot, a recommendation engine for local businesses based on you and your friends’ ratings. Hotpot is an addition to the company’s Google’s Places initiative, a campaign to get local business owners to claim their venues, verify information and engage with customers.

How Hunch’s CEO just slapped a “For Sale” sign on his company

We haven’t heard much about Hunch, the once-buzzy recommendations site based in New York — and what we’ve heard hasn’t been good. So it was interesting to read CEO Chris Dixon’s response to an anonymous questioner who asked why Hunch was building a general recommendations platform instead of focusing on solving one specific problem.

Facebook provides recommendations with new Page Browser tool

This morning, Facebook officially launched Page Browser, a new tool that seeks to help its users discover and “like” new pages on the site using data from one’s previous likes, and that of users in their immediate social network.

Why the integration is bigger than you think

Facebook and partnered Tuesday in what could be one of the social network’s most important integrations yet. now offers a personalized page, where consumers can see product recommendations influenced by friends and their own tastes. They get notifications on when friend’s birthdays are coming up and suggestions on what to buy for them.