Yelp is known for having a more complete set of venue information than Foursquare, with data on things like credit cards, WiFi and outdoor seating. Now Foursquare is trying to close that gap with a new feature they’ve recently added to the iPhone app that asks users to provide much of the same information Yelp already has.
The questions pop up after users have checked in to the venue, in the same way the tip prompt appeared in the past. So far, we’ve seen questions like:
- Does the venue offer WiFi?
- Does the venue have outdoor seating?
- Does the venue take MasterCard?
Users are given a few simple choices, like “yes,” “no” or “not sure.” In the case of WiFi, they can choose between paid or free WiFi.
At this point, the data Foursquare is collecting isn’t revealed anywhere within the apps or website, but it will likely be surfaced once Foursquare has collected a critical mass of data. Additional filters could be added to the Explore engine or perhaps Foursquare will use other clues (i.e., weather data, credit cards you’ve synced) to determine when to recommend certain venues based on this criteria.
Asking users to fill in this data while they’re in the venue is the perfect way for Foursquare to fill out their venue data and get accurate results from users. These questions may not be easy for a superuser to answer from miles away, but should be pretty simple for someone who’s actually there.
What do you think of the new questions? Have you seen any others?
UPDATE (8/16): With the August 16 update to the Android app, users on that platform will find these same types of questions.
/Thanks to Olly for the tip and to Foursquare’s Bastian Beyer for the screenshot!