Foursquare is about checking-in, so that your friends can see where you are. And lately, Foursquare has been making its service more and more about discovery, by introducing Foursquare lists and the all-new Radar function that uses your location to give activity suggestions.
But for many people, Foursquare's true fun is always going to be the gamification - points and badges. And on that note, Foursquare has announced an upgrade to its badges system.
A subset of the Foursquare badges that you can earn with check-ins are called "expertise badges." They include things like "Zoetrope" for checking into a desired amount of theaters and "7-10 Split," for checking into a certain amount of bowling alleys. There are 24 current expertise badges, all of which reward users for "who they are and what they know."
Today, Foursquare announced that they will begin leveling up these expertise badges, rewarding users who continue to explore their interests on the service. From the official blog, here's how it will work:
The rules are the same for all your areas of expertise:
You hit Level 1 for checking in five times to a place in a category, or three unique places.
Level 2 is for five unique places.
And from there, every level up is five more unique places, so you get rewarded for exploration!
For instance, I've earned a level 2 Bookworm badge for checking into 5 unique bookstores. You can now view your leveled expertise badges in the "trophy case." There you can see what level all of your friends have achieved for the same badge:
Forsuqare hopes that these experience levels will improve tips later on down the road. If you're looking for a pizza place in a strange town, you'd probably give more weight to a tip from a level 8 Pizzaiolo over a level 2, right?
They are also unveiling three new expertise badges today: Herbivore, Hot Tamale and Bento. You can probably make a good guess as to the check-ins required to earn those new badges.