And they make smartphones even more deadly for local businesses who do not care about their digital footprint.
Foursquare recently launched the new version of its app for the iPhone. iPhone users can now get real-time recommendations from Foursquare without opening the app. E.g., if they’re at a restaurant, they might get a push notification about a popular dish there.
If this feature works, millions of Foursquare users will get used to receiving tips about the business they’re visiting. Conversely, they likely won’t be very excited about a business that doesn’t get positive ratings or tips.
It’s not clear at this time whether Foursquare will provide negative recommendations — saying that a person’s friend disliked the business, etc. (If you have seen something like it in the app, please let us know in the comments).
Even if Foursquare doesn’t give negative recommendations, it likely won’t recommend businesses with low ratings to many people.
More recommendations for real-time demand
Once a user opens Foursquare on their phone, they can simply search for what they want, and Foursquare will present a list of local businesses that can help. This is very similar to Google’s local search, and not being on this list can mean your SMB clients miss out on opportunities.
Foursquare isn’t the only one working on real-time recommendations. Facebook has its graph search, Apple has Siri, and Google has Google Now. Future consumers are going to be increasingly reliant on this technology for their buying decisions — and local businesses should pay attention.