There’s a signed-in and signed-out experience. The major difference between the two is friend activity and personalization.
The new homepage shows recommended or popular nearby businesses, as well as places with specials or offers. Beyond the personalization data and recommendations, the new homepage is sensitive to time of day and day of week. It will show different listings and recommendations accordingly:
Our new homepage is smart enough to know that what you’re looking for on Saturday night (dinner and nightlife spots) might be different than what you’re searching for on Sunday morning (delicious brunch restaurants, anyone?). Load the page anytime of the day, and we’ll show you the perfect suggestions for that moment.
The following shows what the Foursquare PC homepage looked like a year ago:
Here’s the new homepage (signed out experience):
Here’s the new homepage (signed in experience):
In the new signed-in version of the homepage one sees friend recommendations as well as friend check-in locations on a map above the business listings and categories. I have excluded those that appear on my Foursquare homepage from the screenshot immediately above.
For the better part of the past two years Foursquare has been improving and upgrading its PC site. Even though most usage remains on mobile having a strong multi-platform experience benefits the company and reinforces usage across devices.
Even though consumer usage is consolidating around several “big brands” (e.g., Google, Yelp) there can still be multiple competitors that succeed in the local (and local-mobile) segments. I still anticipate that Foursquare will be acquired rather than go public in the long run.