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Friday, October 14, 2011

Foursquare Takes Quick Advantage of Apple’s iOS 5

Location-based services have not quite conquered the world in the way it seemed they might a year or two ago. Their thunder has been stolen partly by established networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but also not everybody wants to tell the world where they are.

In response, Foursquare has launched its version 4.0 with a new feature called “Radar,” which takes advantage of the improved push functionality of iOS 5. If activated by the user, Radar alerts users of people, things or places they might want to visit near where they happen to be at the time.

It will, for instance, notify them if they are close to a location that three or more of their contacts have checked into. It will also tell them if they are near a place on a list they follow. And the information will be pushed to users even if the app is not actually switched on at the time.
But Wired has a feeling of deja vu:
Sound familiar? It is. After Facebook’s 2010 launch of its “Places” feature – which offers many features similar to Foursquare’s service, including check-ins — it seemed as if Dennis Crowley’s small 80-man startup was all but dead in the water. Similarly, Facebook’s “Deals” program offers a location-based deal notification service much like Foursquare’s daily-deals program, created in partnership with LivingSocial.
“We weathered that storm,” said Holger Luedorf, Foursquare VP of mobile and international, in an interview, noting that Facebook recently shuttered its deals program while Foursquare’s remains strong. “Honestly, we’ve recently announced over 1 billion check-ins, with a user base of over 10 million people. That’s already huge, but we’re focused on growing even more and not spending time worrying about our competitors,” Luedorf said.
Foursquare also says it is working on an Android version of Radar.