Foursquare announced a new in-app feature, called Hypertrending, to see how popular places are through. This feature is currently available only in Austin, Texas until March 21st.
Hypertrending is a top-down view of the location of all Foursquare users in Austin. “The ‘Map’ view gives you a real-time look at how people are spread throughout the city – each dot represents a different place, the size of each dot corresponds to the number of people at each place, and each color represents a different type of place,” explains Foursquare.
Even though the feature, via a heat map view, provides a real-time look of where users are, it restricts the users accessing the Map to track down details of users present in any location. The new feature is visually appealing than its trending metrics which allowed users to find out the most popular establishments.
That said, Hypertrending has some practical issues: the feature will not track users who don’t use Foursquare. For instance, a restaurant might not look too busy in the app, but it could be packed with people not using Foursquare. Also, the new feature – which uses Foursquare’s Pilgrim software platform to figure out where users are located – by using location tracking, may mess with users who would want to maintain privacy.
Anyhow, Foursquare may not proceed to build a commercial version of this feature, “if this freaks people out,” said Foursquare founder and executive chairman Dennis Crowley. “We want to build a version of the future that we’re proud of, and we want your input as we get to work building it,” Crowley wrote, as Foursquare asks for thoughts and feedback on Hypertrending amid “the need for transparency, thoughtful leadership, and ethical behavior from technology companies.”