Foursquare has rolled out a new update that does not require users to create an account. The company has traditionally required users to create an account and share their location with other people in their social circle. The company has plans to move away from this model.
The app is being turned into a discovery-first tool. Instead of checking-in, the tool will be used as a discovery app.
Currently, the app is personalized. Recommendations offer users information based on the best places to go in their area. Preferences and social integration are used to ensure recommendations are based on the user’s preference. The app is a strong competitor to Yelp.
Users will not be able to skip this personalization. Instead, users will be able to add preferences or categories. Users can also link up social accounts at any time to get further recommendations from their friends. The goal is to remove the entry-level barrier of using the app and draw in new users.
Analysts are questioning why the transition is taking place now. A product manager for the company stated that the account requirement was an issue that has been on the chopping block for months. The manager states that the task took longer than expected due to the current system framework that is in place.
Foursquare split its app into two with the creation of Swarm: an app for finding out what your friends are up to. The split occurred in May of 2014. Shortly after, plans were revealed to remove account requirements.
Currently, Foursquare and Swarm have over 55 million accounts combined. These figures do not account for users who visit Foursquare.com instead of using the app.
Users of the app will need to download the latest version to skip account creation. Updates have been rolling out on the iOS. The app is available for Android and Windows Phone as well.