Mobile Apps

Foursquare, Win 8 Make Each Other Look Good

Foursquare has released a new Windows 8 app in the Windows store that promises dividends for both Microsoft and the social network itself.

The benefit for Microsoft is the extra traffic and exposure a new app for a still-popular social network like Foursquare can deliver — especially an app that has been designed from the ground up for Windows 8.

Foursquare, for its part, gets to widen its footprint on the Windows 8 platform.

‘Addictive’ Browsing

Both goals dovetail nicely with the app’s design, which has been widely lauded for its tight integration with and leverage of the Metro interface, the live tiles and the global search functionality.

The app makes abundant use of the photo features, for example, and browsing is — as one app reviewer put it — “addictive” thanks to the tiled blocks of information. Users can easily swipe from these blocks to get information on additional locations or maps of local businesses.

The app can work with both laptops and desktops a well as touchscreens, as there is a Windows RT version.

Foursquare did not respond to our request for further details.

A Deeper Goal

In many ways the app pushes Foursquare closer to its goal of being more than just a check-in locale. For more than a year the company has been reorienting itself to serve as a deeper information source in local search.

The functionality allowed under Windows 8 plays perfectly to that desire.

Each venue get its own card, supported with user-submitted photos. There is also an overlay of images that show the people currently at the location. Other features highlight trending businesses — a restaurant that is particularly busy at the moment because it is happy hour, say.

One feature not available in the Windows 8 version, however, is the Foursquare newsfeed, which may be due to the network’s focus on its core strength of recommendations and local search. Information about friends, after all, is typically association with Facebook — not Foursquare.

‘A Very Big Deal’

Microsoft has much riding on the success of this app, speculated Laura DiDio, principal of ITIC.

“Microsoft is struggling to get Windows 8 off the ground,” DiDio told TechNewsWorld. “To have a popular app like Foursquare take off on its platform would be a very big deal.”

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