Foursquare released their new Explore and leaderboard back in March with the launch of foursquare 3.0. Foursquare was able to incorporate the new features into their own apps, but didn’t have time to properly add it into the API for third-party developers to use. Today they’ve opened them up to everyone by officially adding them to the API.
The features are now properly documented on foursquare’s developer site.Â Some developers had already reverse engineered the features and included them in their own apps, including Geoff Gauchet’s WebOS client and Jeff Wilcox’s 4th and Mayor (which is, at least for the time being, foursquare’s official Windows Phone 7 app).
The real beauty of this move, though, comes not from the ability for third-party developers to build stand-alone foursquare apps, but in their ability to incorporate the new features, especially Explore, into their own apps.
“If youâ€™re a developer and your app already uses the foursquare API, Explore is a great way to find places to go,” wrote foursquare Platform Evangelist Akshay Patil in the blog post announcing the release. “Imagine your dating app with suggested spots, or your food app with tailored restaurant recommendations.”
Many developers are already including foursquare features within their apps, so adding recommendations instead of just a simple list of venues offers their apps an entirely new feature set with only minimal programming required to implement. Foursquare has already done the hard work of building the actual recommendation system.
What kinds of apps do you think will benefit most from adding foursquare’s Explore features?