Popular mobile payments provider Square may be looking to enter the local recommendations space in a move that could see it competing with the likes of Yelp, Foursquare and even Facebook. The service is already in development in the commerce startup’s merchant directory and will someday suggest places to visit based on your purchase history.
According to Square’s Ajit Varma, the software will be able to recommend X to users who like Y based on what they’ve purchased in the past. Amazon is already doing something similar on its web store and it looks like Square is hoping to repeat this in the physical world.
The problem, however, is that just because someone has bought one item, that doesn’t mean he or she likes it. Personal recommendations are still not included at Square’s merchant pages though that’s something that could be easily included in the future. Moreover, at the moment Square has just 330,000 merchants and 3 million users, and that may not be enough to launch a comprehensive local recommendation service. In comparison, Foursquare’s database counts some 50 million places. But Square is growing rapidly and we tend to think they have what it takes to expand to other markets, local recommendations included. We’ll see how that goes…