Foursquare, the app that practically invented checking-in, has officially removed the feature that made it popular. Today, the company announced their total app redesign and plan to change from a check-in site, to the best local search engine in the world. And we thought switching from iPhone to Android after a few years was a difficult transition.
But for anyone that’s now worrying how they will stalk that hot girl without the check-in function, don’t worry. The apps initial features have been moved into a separate app called Swarm, so the old platform can be solely dedicated to recommendations.
Jumping on the ‘tagging’ bandwagon, the new app uses tags or “tastes” added by the user to both recommend places and notify them when they’re near a relevant location. These personalised labels (such as “peppermint tea” or “sweet potato fries”) continue to use your data to make its recommendations even more accurate, as well as sending you useful tips about a venue once you’ve arrived. Alongside all the standard sieving options (you know the drill: price, distance, type etc), the new Foursquare’s filters get even more specific, with options such as “Wi-Fi”, “dog-friendly” and “places I haven’t been”. And if your friend’s filters provide them with somewhere super special, you can see where they themselves have gone and recommended, as well as your own saved and visited locations.
And CEO Dennis Crowley’s new baby doesn’t just do good, it looks good, too. The check-in logo has has disappeared (RIP) but in its place lies a “F” logo that appears strikingly similar to a super-hero emblem. While design shop Red Antler helped out on the the new colour scheme, artistic user-added photos contrast the old app’s block colour background.
In fact, the app could well be on its way to replacing the world’s current biggest search site “Yelp”. When Crowley’s startup was just one and a half years old, it turned down multiple buyout offers for more than $100 million. Instead, it gathered up its own money from investors and was valued at $500-600 million back in 2011. Since then the growth has been moving at a much slower pace, and the app still has a long way to go considering Yelp is currently valued at a whopping $5 billion. So will the drastic changes bring Foursquare 8.0 the success its been waiting for, or the failure it’s slowly been brewing?
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