Have Users Checked Out from Foursquare?

When I asked some followers what they felt about Foursquare I heard the following comments: “the weird relationship with Swarm has complicated things” and  “I deleted it long ago… with Swarm it became useless…” – So, what has happened to Foursquare?

Ever ask yourself, “what ever happened with foursquare”? I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who has wondered what direction the company has gone with the once “must-have” social checkin tool – a while back I called the new service Yelpy!

I was once a “power” or super user and early adopter of the cool service. Foursquare used to be fun, game-like, and quite handy, although many felt the app was creepy and enabled people to over-share. Whatever you think or thought about it, there’s no questioning that when Foursquare radically changed and split off the checkin functionality into the Swarm App that the service was changed forever. Sadly, I feel many users feel the change was for the worse. Think about it, how often do you see people sharing a checkin via Twitter or boast about becoming mayor of a local venue, and what ever happened to Foursquare rewards?

I feel that the reward benefits vanished a long time ago, this mainly due to the lack of understanding by venue owners to take charge and take ownership of their listings and offer up a benefit to users that was of interest – the becoming Mayor reward of something free was  mostly benefited one or two regular customers of any venue so that one was a bomb right from the get go, however, the frequent visitor prize was a pretty good reward, as was a discount offer simply for checking in X times.

The Foursquare app is still alive and well and kicking, however, it no longer serves as entertainment or a game for the user. Rather, Foursquare is a local search tool, providing users with tips about local shops and venues along with tips, rating and photos. It really is quite handy, however, when Foursquare opted to fix something that was never broken and confuse the hell out of the users with Swarm, the faithful “super users” vanished, and with them the evangelism of the service provided by a loyal flock of social sharing fanatics also disappeared, likely forever!

I used to find value in Foursquare as a super user. I enjoyed having a history of my travels around the World, I sucked back the perks of rewards and discounts, provided tips and suggestions, and I have to say that I had a ton of engagement with my connections but all that is now gone.  I even once managed to locate my foursquare history and mashup the data on a GeoCommons map along with flickr photos and other social checkin data from other services! Since Swarm took over I have barely had any interaction with other users, I haven’t added connections with other users, and I rarely upload photos and tips like I once used to – I simply can’t be bothered. Periodically I will open up foursquare app and attempt to checkin to a venue, realizing, OOPS, I’m supposed to use Swarm for that! Never fear though, within the Foursquare app you can optionally select the “Checkin with Swarm Option”… redundant, indeed and that is exactly the kind of thing that has confused the user.

Are you still a Foursquare user or have you checked out?

Author: @gletham