Foursquare’s mobile Explore screen is incredibly visual with its large photos above every item. To make sure they’re showing the best possible photos there, Foursquare has added a new photo ranking tool to every venue’s photo gallery on the website.
At the top of each gallery page, you’ll find a link to “rank these photos.” It’s a simple tool that displays two photos side-by-side. You pick the one that best represents the venue (if neither is good, you can tell it that, too). After each selection, another pair of photos is displayed.
I often find myself making quick judgements about a place based on the photos presented in Explore. Unfortunately a lot of the photos added publicly to venues are pictures of people or random things only tangentially related to the venue in question, which makes it hard to determine anything from the picture. Foursquare has been trying to weed these photos out algorithmically by using photos chosen more often for tips and lists, but that method must not have been providing the desired results.
In addition to the Explore screen, this tool affects the order of the photos used on venue pages throughout the website and app and any other places photos appear in Foursquare.
This new tool won’t see a ton of use, since it’s buried on a little-seen page of a little-used website, but it should be enough to weed out some of the worst photos from some of the highest profile venues. With Foursquare’s emphasis on photos, it’s critical that they put their best foot forward on every search lest they risk turning away users.
/Thanks to Grant McFerrin for the tip!
What do you think of the tool?