Hungry? Foursquare Bot Texts Food Recommendations

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Our busy lifestyles don't always leave room for meal planning. So Foursquare invented Marsbot—a new way to discover the best places around you.

Download the iOS app to start receiving contextually aware, proactive recommendations for food and nightlife spots. "Our goal: create a product that tells you where to eat or drink before you think to ask for it," Foursquare product manager Marissa Chacko wrote in a blog post.

Not to be confused with a chatbot—which requires a user ask specific questions and give specific prompts—Marsbot offers personalized suggestions simply based on where you are and where you usually go.

The app, currently available only for iPhone owners in New York City and San Francisco, serves as a foodie friend who knows what you love and where you hang out, as well as the best local joints. Marsbot may learn, for example, that you're not into pistachio gelato and spend most of your time in the East Village. It will also text you when a new chai spot opens around the corner from your office.

"It's a really big, futuristic change. And it's one that only Foursquare, with our vast location intelligence, can tackle," Chacko said, warning that "Marsbot isn't perfect, but is always full of good intentions."

Like most popular restaurants and nightclubs, Marsbot has a waiting list. More users will be let past the velvet ropes as Foursquare squashes bugs and continues to improve the experience.

"It'll take time for Marsbot to learn about you and for us to refine how it all works. So please be patient," Chacko wrote. "No one said inventing the future would be easy."

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