The new (premium) To-Go Guide features integrated check-in and user-submitted photography.
The move towards increased integration in the location-based service realm is clearly underway, as most recently evidenced by today’s announcement that the new, $9.99 version of the Zagat To Go iPhone app includes Foursquare and Foodspotting integration.
Users will be able to check into the same restaurants they identify as a nearby Zagat recommendation directly within the application, without having to separately check in via their Foursquare app. Checkins will automatically be registered the app’s new Dining Journal, allowing users to keep track of their venue visitation history (a limited check-in history is also currently available via the Foursquare app).
The new Zagat app will also include access to thousands of user-contributed food photos from various venues – allowing users to decide whether the aesthetics of the dishes served appear to merit their craving (and the visit).
Foodspotting – which we discussed late last year – also released the second version of its iPhone app (and website) today, which includes integration with a new collection of partners’ food guides, including the Travel Channel, Zagat, Anthony Bourdain and more local/regional guides.
While the Zagat app – at $9.99 – is clearly at a premium over free applications like Foursquare, or Yelp‘s, for instance – we wonder if this integration – and any future, similar partnerships will cause some Foursquare users to ultimately check-in via the app less often? Or, on the contrary – will this integration – coupled with Zagat content – actually bring in more app customers for Zagat (at the expense of Yelp, etc.), and increase Foursquare’s value by seamless integrating its role as ‘social location aggregator’ to more valuable content? We’ll keep an eye out for how users respond to its integration within the new Zagat app, as well as to how many users download it.