Foursquare Takes on Yelp, Launches Its Own 10-Point Rating System

November 06, 2012

45 percent of customers say they’re more likely to visit businesses that respond to their reviews

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Five-star ratings are not very valuable. They don’t give you enough information.

At least that’s what location-based social networking and check-in service Foursquare said as it recently launched its own 10-point rating system, available now via Explore, Foursquare’s signature discovery feature. The rating appears next to the name of the businesses users discover through Explore.

“Now when you search for somewhere to go in Explore, you’ll see a score from 1 to 10 next to the name of a place,” wrote a company spokesperson in a blog post. “It’s our way to give you a quick sense of how much people love it, and it’s a lot different from the other types of ratings you see today.”

By “other types of ratings” Foursquare must have meant ratings found in recommendation sites and review aggregators like Yelp, Google+ Local, and TripAdvisor. While five-star ratings are common, the company contended that they are also often arbitrary, unable to help people decide where to actually go.

“Instead of other sites where every place gets 3.5 stars, we come up with our scores using the same Foursquare magic that powers Explore,” according to the post. “We look at signals like tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, loyalty, local expertise, and nearly 3 billion check-ins from over 25 million people worldwide. And, with every check-in and Explore search, our scores will get smarter and better.”

Foursquare rival Yelp currently uses a five-star system for rating local businesses. Google+ Local, meanwhile, is integrated with the famous Zagat ratings scale, although recently it introduced an update that made Zagat’s 30-point scores less prominent in Google+ Local business pages.

By introducing its own 10-point rating system, Foursquare hopes to provide users with more useful information and better recommendations for nearby places – including restaurants, cafes, hotels, tourist attractions, and other local businesses. Reportedly working on securing a new (fourth) round of funding from venture capitalists, the company also recently offered an improved personalized map experience and partnered with OpenTable to make in-app restaurant reservations available for all Foursquare users.

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