Foursquare launches categories

Upon logging into Foursquare and checking my history page this morning, I was initially perplexed to see a bunch of question-mark icons next to my venues.

So what gives?

Foursquare has launched categories (and sub-categories) this morning. Here are a few screenshots.

Foursquare Categories – history page

Foursquare-history-categories

Foursquare Categories – history page – sub categories

Foursquare-history-categories-sub

Once you’ve added a category for a particular venue, a shiny new icon shows up where the question-mark used to be. Foursquare has created an entirely new icon set for the categories launch. You can see the movie theater icon above next to the Harkins Tempe Marketplace venue. When I added the “Slices” venue to the category; Food, sub-category Pizza, a pizza slice icon appeared.

You can only add a venue to one category at this time.

Foursquare Categories – venue page

Categories will show up on the venue pages as well, just above the tags area on the lower right of the page (screenshot below). You can also add a venue to a category from the venue page.

foursquare-venue-categories

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a method for suggesting a new category or sub-category. I couldn’t find “community center” in any of the lists, so I had to go with “Building – Other”. All in all though, it appears that Foursquare has covered the majority of venue types in their category lists.

I’d still like to see a method for users easily suggesting a new category or sub-category though.

Update: According to an official Foursquare tweet, you can report missing categories here.

Foursquare Categories – what will they bring to the table?

So how will categories improve the Foursquare experience? I think categories are a good compliment to the current tag system. Tags can now be used for more descriptive purposes now, while the category will define the type of venue. Expect to see new badges created that are linked to certain categories.

I’m looking forward to the new enhancements and anything that will improve the Foursquare experience. How do you think Categories will improve Foursquare?