In a rather bizarre move, foursquare today eschewed their “check-in service” roots in favor of something a little more conventional: they’ll now be sending an adorable puppy photo to their 15+ million plus users each week. The puppy photo will be joined by a few stats designed to encourage user engagement by pointing out new features and highlighting recent activity from the user’s friends on the service.
This week’s puppy photo shows a cute Beagle puppy. We’re told the photos will vary from week to week and cover a variety of different breeds. Sadly, cat fans are out of luck for now.
The statistics are, of course, secondary to the puppy photo each week, but show what your friends have been up to lately while highlighting some of the service’s newer features. Users see photos that have been posted by their friends, places they’ve added to their to-do list (for serendipitous “hey, I want to go there too!” moments), and lists they’ve created.
Another section shows some of the user’s current “streaks” (if there are any of note) and compares them to the user’s past records. Other users see a section encouraging them to add tips at places they’ve visited recently.
The emails follow on the success of foursquare’s recent emails to businesses that encourage business owners to become engaged by highlighting the activity at their venues.
Users can opt out of the stats emails (or in to the puppy version; sorry, it’s not on by default) by visiting theÂ notificationsÂ section of the foursquare settings page.
These emails should help to encourage engagement, especially among users who may not have checked in recently or tried some of the service’s newest features. The unique setting (my favorite email option ever) also show foursquare’s never-take-yourself-too-seriously attitude, which is honestly one of the things I love most about them.
Which version will you opt for? Puppy or no puppy?
PS Sources indicate Google is currently sourcing a puppy provider in order to begin sending puppy photos to Latitude users in coming weeks.
/Thanks to everyone who sent this in and especially to Justin Henderson for sharing screenshots