Foursquare’s “Smart” Push Notifications Roll Out On IOS

The “smart” push notifications for Android users that Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley mentioned in August are finally rolling out to iOS users today.

These notifications, part of the new Foursquare 7.0 for iOS, aim to show nearby places, sights, and eats that are both interesting and relevant to specific users. In theory, if I’ve never checked into a Thai restaurant before, Foursquare probably won’t be buzzing my phone to let me know Wondee Siam II is two blocks away.

“We know that people are sensitive about when their phone vibrates,” says Foursquare’s VP of product experience, Jon Steinback. “We want that to be something valuable they get in their pockets, and we’ve been very cautious in honing the technology behind that.”

Foursquare has said for a while that, in addition to checking in, more and more of its 40 million users are using the app to discover new things. So it has also added a new carousel near the top of the app that shows a rotating list of roughly four to six recommendations nearby that users can quickly swipe through to get a sense of their surroundings. With this carousel, Foursquare is trying to hit the sweet spot by showing just the right number of recommendations to keep the app interesting without flooding users with choices.

“We’d rather not overwhelm people with options,” Steinback says.

Steinback says the new changes shouldn’t affect your phone’s regular battery life, something the company has had trouble with in previous feature releases.