Foursquare today rolled out the ability for users to add short personal “bios” to their profile pages on the site. These bios are limited to 160 characters or less, and can be imported directly from a user’s Twitter account or written from scratch.
It’s another small step in Foursquare’s progression from a fun app that plugs into sites such as Facebook and Twitter to a more self-contained, standalone social network in its own right. Since the company secured $50 million in funding at a $600 million valuation last summer, Foursquare has been steadily adding new features such as restaurant recommendations and passive location detection aimed at fleshing out the app’s user experience and increasing its stickiness. The addition of bios is in that same vein, as it could get people to start following other Foursquare users that they don’t necessarily know in real life based on their interests. Just like people often use Twitter to follow strangers who say interesting things, people could start to use Foursquare to follow strangers who go to interesting places. This already happens, of course, but the addition of bios encourages it more.
Overall, these moves seem to be working: Its user count is growing worldwide, and investors seem pretty happy with Foursquare’s evolution as well. As our own Eric Eldon reported earlier this month, Spark Capital is said to have bought up as much as $50 million more of the company’s stock from its employees.
But this is no time for the three-year-old Foursquare to relax. Apps in the social location mobile space (also known gratingly as SoLoMo) are hotter than ever, and new entrants on the scene such as Highlight and Glancee are getting lots of buzz. Small, iterative feature additions like today’s show that Foursquare is keeping up its own hustle as the competition continues to grow.
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...