The whole essence of product or service promotion on Social Media and Social Networking channels is recommendation. If there is something new I want I’ll go by recommendation, whether that be from direct friends on Facebook, or collective recommendation on Twitter. Even outside the realm of “Social” recommendation by way of reviews have played a big part in e-commerce. So why should the same not be true of Location Based Services for the high street?
Foursquare recently announced that one of the new features they are testing within their mobile application is a recommendation engine. This will look at users check-in history and to-do lists, based on this it will then make recommendations based on this data. They are also hoping 3rd party developers will build on this functionality to provide enhancements to the recommendation engine.
So if I check-in at a lot of Chinese Takeaways, my favourite take home meal, when I am staying away Foursquare could automatically alert me to Chinese Takeaways close to where I am staying. Based on my behavioural data it would also be possible to relate some activities with other recommendations. Check-ins at wine retailers could lead to recommendations of wine bars. Or checking in at the fish mongers could lead me to discover sushi restaurants.
The possible combinations and crossovers are vast but they are going to require a certain amount of data to be accurate. To benefit from quality recommendations you will need to check-in regularly but with the power of numbers recommendations could not only be made based on what you do but also the actions of people your are connected to.
Offering additional elements other than the gaming element is a good move by Foursquare and if they get recommendations right end users will see the benefits. Now, is it Kebab or Chinese tonight?