To go along with the updates found in version 5.0 of their app (available later today), foursquare has added many of the same new features from the app to the website. You’ll now find like/dislike buttons on venue pages and check-ins, new category icons, and a new activity feed on the homepage, among other things.
The most noticeable change shows up right on the homepage, with a new activity feed that lists not only your friends’ check-ins (and photos), but also things like:
- Places they’ve liked
- Friends they’ve added
- Lists they’ve saved (it’s “saved” now instead of “followed”)
- Tips they’ve added
- Badges and mayorships they’ve earned
In many ways, the homepage activity feed resembles the Facebook news feed, with a mix of content of all sorts of different content from your friends in one spot. The similarities continue with the grouping of like activities, adjusting the tab title to show new activity and autoloading as your scroll down the page (thankfully someone thought to move the footer items into the right sidebar!). The new activity feed makes it easier to follow all the other things your friends are doing on the site besides just checking in.
Rolling over a place name anywhere on the homepage pops up a small box that shows more information about the venue, including a map, the address, photos and a listing of your friends who’ve been there.
The home page also features some new additions to the right hand column: places that are near your current location. They’re broken up into places you’ve saved to your to-do list, popular spots, places you haven’t been in a while and places to grab a bite to eat.
Mentions now work on the website, as well. When adding a comment, you can start typing a friend’s name and you’ll see a list of possible matches appear. Choose one and it will turn into a link to their profile and notify them that they’ve been mentioned.
As they are in the new app, like buttons (hearts) are sprinkled throughout the site. You’ll find them on venue pages (you’ve been to), check-ins, tips (replacing the “done” button), and even specials. They provide an extra signal for foursquare’s Explore algorithm to know whether you actually liked a place when checking in there before recommending it to your friends. You’ll see the total number of likes on each venue page (sadly, it replaces the total number of people who’ve checked in there).
An interesting new box shows up on venue pages called “People talk about…” It highlights some of the most popular things people have mentioned in the tips, along with a relevant snippet. It’s an easy way to get a feel for what’s the most recommended without reading through all the tips. This should be a very popular feature.
On top of all that, there are new category icons throughout the site. Every single one has been redesigned and now sits reversed out of a background color instead of the stark black and white design of the previous icons. The color varies depending on the use. On maps blue and orange are used to represent recommended places and specials respectively, while most other spots use a simple gray background. (See all the new icons here)
Many categories that didn’t have their own icons before (e.g., burrito places, bridges) have gotten new ones in the redesign. Most of the designs are really beautiful and are easily recognizable at a wide variety of sizes.
What do you think of the changes to the website? Are you a fan of the new category icons?