The geo-social check-in app has managed to reach a reasonable scale (25,000,000 users) since their launch in 2009 across their mobile apps for iOS and Android (and webOS, Windows Mobile, and one or two other negligible mobile operating systems).
Until now, foursquare’s web offering was still focused on mobile users. The release of what much of the media is calling a “local search engine” marks a significant milestone for the company in terms of both growth and strategy.
Foursquare’s comprehensive database of local hot spots is no longer veiled behind an app that tells your friends where you are. Any and all skeptics that zeroed in on the check-in part of the app as a barrier to entry can now have all of the benefits of others reviews and recommendations without compromising their beliefs about privacy/downloading more apps/etc. If the next 3 months don’t rank amongst the highest in growth for both new and current users, I will be surprised. I would go as far as to say that this move is foursquare’s defining moment - and could largely propel the company forward past the category of “startup” and further into the land of “platform” companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The future, it is bright.