Facebook Testing Foursquare-Esque Feature To Connect Friends

May 14, 2014 05:38 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma


In what looks like a challenge to Foursquare, Facebook has started testing a new feature in its iOS app that suggests similar information when you post what you're doing, The Verge reported.

After you input your location, or "check in," the new Facebook function can show friends who have recently been to the same place or related photos. A status update about a favorite song or TV show may bring up friends who have listened to or watched the same media.

The Verge compared the feature, which uses a color-coding system for information, to both Foursquare and Google Now. The latter pulls up nearby photos and related posts.

With the information "cards," places are designated in red, birthdays are blue and photos are in yellow.

"These cards can help you discover information about where you are or what to do next, or inspire conversations with your friends around you," a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge.

The change makes the familiar Facebook News Feed a more dynamic place and opens up new possibilities for the world's biggest social network, according to TechCrunch.

"The cards make News Feed feel alive," TechCrunch's Josh Constine wrote. "By reacting to what's top of mind for users, Facebook could unlock new utility, entertainment, and monetization potential."

While unmistakably similar to Foursquare, the Facebook iteration focuses on connecting friends through similar interests, as shown by their shared content. The cards are just being tested right now but could roll out for all users in the near future.

Meanwhile, Foursquare has been working on a daring new update that will split the platform into two apps, making it a serious challenge to Yelp.

One app will keep the Foursquare name and serve as a way to explore your location, while the entirely new app Swarm will help you connect with friends, The Wire reported earlier this month.

In a blog post, Foursquare pointed out that users tend to use the app either to meet up with their friends or to find certain locations, but never for both. The company is looking to "unbundle" the experience into two apps.

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