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Foursquare Has Toyed with the Idea of a Stand-Alone App for Discovery–Without Check-ins


Last week, a tipster told Betabeat that Foursquare is working on a stand-alone app for discovery that would not require checking in. A handful of sources familiar with the company said a separate discovery app is not actively being developed, but revealed that Foursquare has kicked around the idea of stand-alone apps over the years.

“[The company] had talked in the past about Foursquare being ‘read only’ in the future as only a certain percentage of users will ever check in,” said one source. “It jives with what I have seen out of them: deprioritizing power users in favor of scale.” Read More

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Caterina Fake’s New Startup: Pinwheel, ‘A Flickr for Places (Ish),’ Lets You Leave Notes on a Map


Last June, Flickr and Hunch cofounder Caterina Fake announced that she had raised $2 million from investors like New York’s Founder Collective, True Ventures and SV Angel with an emphasis on consumers and social. If you’ll recall, in November of 2010, Ms. Fake left Hunch, a New York City-based startup she cofounded with Chris Dixon to build a “taste graph” of the Internet, rather abruptly. Speculation was that Hunch’s pivot—away from a consumer destination site towards a platform to power other sites (it was acquired by eBay last November)—was too far out of Ms. Fake’s wheelhouse. “The things I’m good at are building communities, participatory media, places where people contribute things of their own making,” she blogged at the time. Mr. Dixon chalked it up to a “founder-market fit;” other people had other ideas.

Regardless new startup Pinwheel, which launched out of private beta last night, seems to fit her comfort zone. The app lets users “find and leave notes all around the world.” The notes, which are pinned on a specific location on a map, can be both private or shared with an individual or group, as well as organized into sets.

For example, “Every place that you told me that you loved me, circa 2008″ (one of the potential sets Ms. Fake offers) you might want to keep private. Whereas “Find me a Nearby Toilet NOW,” (another example from Ms. Fake) might be a question you pose to a group. There is, of course, a social networking element, with the opportunity to follow both friends and sets: Read More