View Full Version : Why I Uninstalled Foursquare (and Swarm)

Uninstalling an app I've used for years is a big move for me, because I hate giving up on things - but this weekend, after a couple of weeks of debating it, I finally gave Swarm and Foursquare the boot.
I've never really cared all that much where my friends were checking in - beyond the basic thrill of voyeurism - but it was entertaining to compete with them for mayorships and points. When traveling, my friend and I would often race to be the first to check in to a new place, just for the extra points. It was incredibly stupid and arbitrary, but like many things that are stupid and arbitrary, it was also pretty fun.
I was hopeful when I first heard that Foursquare was breaking out check-ins (http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/1/5666062/foursquare-swarm-new-app) into their own app, Swarm, since Foursquare had started to feel a bit bloated lately, and an app devoted entirely to check-ins could have been a great move. What I didn't know it that they were also taking away the things I cared about most - I had to hop over to Foursquare's blog (http://blog.foursquare.com/post/85232472353/mayorships-and-more-how-swarm-is-going-to-make-your) to find that out.

Points? Gone, because apparently they "became arbitrary and less reflective of real-world achievement". You know what they say - if there's something slightly broken with a core system in your product, throw it out entirely.
Mayorships? Neutered in favor of Mayorship 2.0: "With these new mayorships, if you and a couple friends have been checking in to a place, the person who has been there the most lately gets a crown sticker. Mayors 2.0 means that places can have many different mayors, one for each circle of friends, instead of just a single mayor at each place." Of course, if you rarely check in to the same place as your friends do, this is a completely worthless "upgrade". That was the purpose of points; to compete with friends without having to go to all the same places they do.
Badges? Gone, because apparently "badges stopped feeling special a long time ago." Thanks for telling me how I feel, Foursquare. Now, instead of badges, we get stickers - because apparently stickers are what makes me feel special now. Oh, Foursquare - how did you know?

I didn’t even know they got rid of points. Wow. Knowing all of this, I completely agree with everything you said. Sigh… what a waste.

Yeah, I don’t understand that move at all. It went from being a central part of the product, with a “friends leaderboard” and everything, to being completely removed. I don’t know where Foursquare is going, exept perhaps towards an acquisition by Microsoft.

Per Foursquare, check-ins weren’t the most used feature. Searching for places to eat, recommendations and such was. That is why they’re refocusing the main app strictly for Discovery and stripped out the social features and spun that into it’s own app. Even though some used this feature, there weren’t enough to warrant continue support for it. If it bombs, oh well. This is much like the decommission of Google Reader; many loved and used it, but just wasn’t enough for Google to continue to support it.