There's a new restaurant in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn that recently opened called Tilda All Day. It's received basically zero press attention compared to something like the massive, flashy launch of Chick-fil-A's new store in Manhattan, but it's already buzzing with popularity on Foursquare.
Because it knows where its users are going and checking in, Foursquare is currently featuring Tilda All Day on "Trending This Week," a list of the hottest new places to eat and drink. The list has been available on Foursquare's website for the past several weeks, but on Friday it goes live in Foursquare's iPhone and Android app.
Think of Trending This Week like the Billboard Hot 100 chart for restaurants, updated every Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. with the most popular openings in your area. When an influx of Foursquare users start visiting a new restaurant, checking in with Foursquare's Swarm app, and sharing tips and photos, it starts climbing up Trending This Week like a new Justin Bieber single.
The list is currently available in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. Foursquare plans to bring it to more cities by the end of the year.
Trending This Week is designed to function like the heartbeat of a city's food culture. “It shows that we have the pulse on these cities," Foursquare's editor-at-large Sarah Spagnolo tells Tech Insider. "We can really identify where people are going."
Foursquare engineering manager Matt Kamen tells Tech Insider that Trending This Week represents the "culmination of so much of the data we’ve collected and what we’ve learned over years and years of doing this.”
Foursquare is already pretty good at telling me where I should eat based on my personal likes (you can rate places and leave tips for others in the app), but now it's zooming out to capture where all of its millions of users are going.
Trending This Week is the biggest feature to debut in the Foursquare app since its main check-in element was spun out into the separate Swarm app last year. Now Foursquare is honing in on being more of a direct competitor to Yelp, albeit with a more personalized and discovery-centered focus. Yelp's biggest advantage is showing up in Google search results, while Foursquare is leveraging the massive amounts of data it's collected from users over the years to make personalized recommendations.
For now, Trending This Week is just a single list of new restaurants in a city, but down the road Kamen sees it potentially branching out to show more specific places to check out, like arts and entertainment. What's great about Trending This Week is that it's dictated by Foursquare users, not the whims of a writer for a local newspaper's food section.
“I see us as the mouthpiece of the community," Spagnolo says. "We speak for the people.”