April has been a particularly busy and important month for Foursquare. Between its shiny new iOS app and its latest, sightly concerning round of funding, Foursquare seems intent on putting front and center the things that competitors like Yelp don’t have: all that check-in data.
That reinvigorated focus is evident even in the latest redesign of Foursquare’s online listings, which emphasize what Foursquare web engineering head Mike Singleton calls “social justifications,” i.e, data like how many of your friends have visited a place and what they think of it.
“Our listing pages are more than just ratings. We want people to look at a venue and understand in a single glance their personal relationship with it,” Singleton told me.
To make this happen, Foursquare has moved its “more like” and “places people go to after” widgets to the right side of the page so that they’re more prominent. The design team has also placed a single row of photos above the venue’s name, which not only makes more sense, but also looks nicer. (“It’s kinda Yelp-y,” noted one of my housemates about the redesign, and I can sort of see where he’s coming from.)
Singleton says that while Foursquare has made incremental changes to its listing pages, this is the biggest one since the feature was introduced in late 2011. So you might say this one is a bit overdue.
“We have 3.5 billion check-ins, so when you look at the listing pages, you’re seeing information that others just don’t have. It’s important for us to show that,” Singleton said.