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A new look for location-based check-ins

Location-based social network foursquare has put the final touches on version 2.0 of its iPhone app and has created a brand new embeddable "Add to My foursquare" button for web pages.

"When we started foursquare, we dreamed it would be much more than check-ins," wrote foursquare in a September 20 blog post. "We really wanted to build tools that would help people collect and share their real-world experiences."

With the introduction of Facebook Places in the US and continued development of geolocation services such as Gowalla, Brightkite, Google Latitude and Scvngr, foursquare has been on the offense trying to differentiate their platform and provide users with enhanced services.

One way in which foursquare is hoping to stand out from the pack is by facilitating the discovery of (nearby) real-world experiences.

Foursquare believes version 2.0 of their mobile application brings them closer to achieving their original idea for the service.

The first change to the new application is the separation of Tips and To-Dos says foursquare. Splitting up the two sections and making them easier for users to access will help users keep track of all the great places they hope to visit in the future.

The new app also simplifies the process of adding Tips to users' To-Do list and reminds users to check-in when they are nearby.

"Once something is added to your To-Do List, you'll see a blue 'dog ear' for that place whenever it pops up in your nearby places list," says Foursquare.   

However, the most valuable change for foursquare users is the "Add to My foursquare" button that will soon start popping up on websites across the internet.

The button functions in a similar way to Facebook's recently introduced "Like" button. Website owners place the button on their site and Foursquare users can click on it to instantly link what they have discovered online to their foursquare To-Do list.

"Read the review, click on the button, and that tip about tasty cupcakes is now on your phone. It's like Instapaper, but for things to experience in the real world," explains foursquare.

iPhone users can download the updated application from http://foursquare.com/iphone/.

Updates to foursquare's Android and Blackberry applications are "coming soon" says the company.