Foursquare is rolling out two new features for its app today that will help position the service at the center of the mobile zeitgiest.
IPhone users will have photos and comments added to their Foursquare app today, with these features scheduled to roll out to Android next week and Blackberry next month.
Comments will serve as a kind of in-app messaging system. “For instance, meeting up with friends becomes easier when you can comment on the check-ins of nearby friend and tell them to swing by,” Foursquare told The Observer by email.
Photos are increasingly becoming the killer feature on smartphones and social networks. Foursquare is smart to add this function, and plans on bringing integration with hot photo apps like Instagram and PicPlz in the near future.
Overall it creates a much richer atmosphere on Foursquare, more akin to a full social network, except that the guiding theme is still the experience of going out.
“Photos and comments also help memories come to life by creating a sort of ‘digital scrapbook,’” writes Foursquare. “From your foursquare history page, you can now see the places you’ve been and who you’ve been there with along with photos and comments from these outings.”
This raises larger questions of privacy, something which Foursquare is hoping to nip in the bud. Photos on check-ins are only visible to your friends (and the networks you share to, like Facebook and Twitter). Tip and venue photos are open to the community. Comments are only viewable by your foursquare friends (and their foursquare friends).
Overall it seems like a great refresh to the Foursquare experience that adds a lot of depth. Whether the features will catch on, or impede the clarity of the old check-in experience, remains to be seen. Tech Observer will be checking in later today with Alex Rainert, Foursquare’s Head of Product, so be sure to tune in for additional details.
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper