A new version of geolocation service Foursquare's iPhone app hit the iTunes App Store this morning, bringing photos and comments to the product for the first time. Foursquare members can now post comments on their friends' "check-ins," as well as attach photographs to the directory listings for venues they visit and tips they leave behind.
These new features will be available on Foursquare's Android app later in the week and then on its BlackBerry application next month.
Photo services Instagram and Picplz, as well as food photo network Foodspotting, are already tapped into the new Foursquare so that a photo can be cross-posted to Foursquare, and the company says that additional third-party tie-ins like Facebook and Flickr uploads are on the way.
Photos attached to a check-in are only visible to your Foursquare friends as well as other social networks where you've shared that Foursquare check-in, but photos added to tips and venues are public. Comments on a check-in are only visible to other people who could normally see that check-in.
As Foursquare's original hook--the idea of pinging your friends with a geo-tagged location--has become a commodity rather than a unique feature, it's had to move forward to add additional functions. Facebook, which once expressed interest in acquiring Foursquare, now offers check-ins of its own through Facebook Places; business reviews site Yelp also has added check-ins. Meanwhile, other formerly buzzworthy start-ups in the geolocation space are throwing in the towel: Brightkite has switched over to group text messaging altogether, and Gowalla now offers a way to aggregate check-ins from multiple services including ex-competitor Foursquare.