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Foursquare’s New App Coming Next Week as Company Battles Backlash

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Foursquare’s New App Coming Next Week as Company Battles Backlash
[ Social Media]

Foursquare probably knew that unbundling its features and removing check-ins altogether from its flagship app would ruffle a few feathers. I guess the company maybe thought there was the off chance that people would take to Swarm, its new check-in only app, like people did to the original Foursquare app.

But Swarm’s 1.5 star rating in the App Store and the social media conversation surrounding the shift paints a rather bleak picture.

Still, Foursquare is trucking ahead, and plans to launch the all-new Foursquare – the one solely focused on local search and discovery – next week.

Amid the transition, Foursquare is battling this opinion, which is becoming increasingly popular:

Expertise? That’s the subject of a new post from Foursquare, who talks about the evolution of “Tips” in the new app.

“[W]hen we started working on the new Foursquare (coming next week!), we wanted to celebrate people who share their expertise, and highlight the great tips they leave.

The result of this is ‘expertise’ you can earn (think of them kind of like badges for leaving great tips). To earn them, you just have to show off your knowledge. When you leave great tips, you make progress. And, the more people like or save them, the faster you’ll earn expertise. You can earn expertise at a type of place (like ‘Dumplings’ or ‘Vintage Shops’) or a neighborhood or city (who doesn’t want to have expertise of Chinatown or SoHo?),” says Foursquare.

When a user finally earns “expertise” level, they’ll be identified as such on the app. Even after the app split, Foursquare can’t help but add some gamification element to the core app.

Let’s recall Foursquare’s original reasoning for splitting into two apps:

We spend a lot of time talking to people about Foursquare, and we constantly hear they use Foursquare for two things – to keep up and meet up with their friends, and to discover great places. Every month, tens of millions of people open up the app to do each.

But, as it turns out, each time you open the app, you almost always do just one of those things. At home, you may be searching for a place for dinner. After dinner, you are probably looking to see what friends nearby are up to. That’s why today, we’re announcing that we’re unbundling these two experiences into two separate apps – Foursquare, and a new app called Swarm.

I guess the success of Foursquare (and Swarm) will depend on whether or not Foursquare is right about this single-use mentality. By the look of some of the recent reaction, there are plenty of people who were just fine with checking in and looking for tips in the same app.

Image via Foursquare Blog

Foursquare’s New App Coming Next Week as Company Battles Backlash
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