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Foursquare’s Windows 8 app is finally released — and it was worth waiting for

Loca­tion-based social media start­up Foursquare has final­ly released its new Win­dows 8 app, which inter­est­ed social media man­agers and com­mu­ni­ty man­agers may have caught a sneak pre­view of at the Microsoft BUILD con­fer­ence in June last year. The app is now avail­able from the Win­dows Store.

And what a re-vamp it amounts to: the most hard-bit­ten social media man­ag­er would prob­a­bly agree that drop dead gor­geous is the only verdict.

More than sharing

In the unlike­ly event that there are any social media man­agers or com­mu­ni­ty man­agers out there who don’t know much about Foursquare, which is head­quar­tered in New York, it’s a geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion-based social net­work which lets users share where they’re vis­it­ing with friends through a smart­phone app. When users check in to share, their Twit­ter and Face­book accounts can be auto­mat­i­cal­ly updat­ed via their Foursquare account. They’re also award­ed “May­or” sta­tus when their check in num­ber for a par­tic­u­lar loca­tion reach­es a set lev­el (May­ors get spe­cial deals from venues which have embraced Foursquare).

The new Win­dows 8 app is a visu­al stun­ner, with all the func­tion­al­i­ty of the oth­er Foursquare apps (Android, Black­ber­ry, iPhone, Nokia S40 and S60, Win­dows Mobile 7 and Sam­sung Bada) but with deli­cious­ly big­ger dis­plays which make the task of dig­ging around for where your friends are and what’s around you a delight. Every venue on the new app fea­tures beau­ti­ful pho­tos sub­mit­ted by users along with a grid of pic­tures show­ing which users are vis­it­ing them.

Future projects?

Foursquare clear­ly intends the app to be a means of explor­ing local areas, from cof­fee shops to restau­rants and cin­e­mas, and much else. And it can be used for local search with­out hav­ing to login to a Foursquare account, with users able to find out more about trend­ing and top-rat­ed local venues sim­ply by swip­ing right and left. It’s not just about shar­ing.

As yet, there isn’t a Foursquare app tai­lored for the iPad but a tablet UI has recent­ly been added to the Android app. Foursquare’s busi­ness devel­op­ment lead, David Ban, was tight-lipped about whether the big­ger dis­plays would come to tablet for­mats or desk­tops any time soon, but he offered a tan­ta­liz­ing hint about what the Win­dows 8 app has achieved, say­ing, “This has opened some eyes. It may well serve as inspi­ra­tion for future projects.”

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