Foursquare, a company that pioneered the online check-in, is changing things up. Compiled on the list of our favorite travel apps, this mobile application is great for finding new places to visit while you’re traveling. If you’re new to a city and want to know where people are gathering for the afternoon, just open the app and see what’s hot. The higher the number of check-ins, the more popular the establishment. It really comes in handy if you’re looking for a good eatery, and there’s usually a handful of tips on what to order.
Once you arrive somewhere, the old Foursquare would let you check-in and leave a tip of your own. Sometimes a discount or special would pop up, just for using Foursquare. It’s a nifty little app. Now, however, the check-in process has migrated to their new Swarm application. This means users are now required to download a separate app for their check-ins. All recommendations and searches are still reserved for the Foursquare app, as are leaving “tips” for any places you’ve visited. Many users are frustrated with this transition, and App Store reviews for Swarm average two out of five stars.
“They’ve taken the best parts of Foursquare away and ruined it by truing to make it some sort of Yelp-Twitter-Facebook hybrid.” - Fenoxielo
“The problem is, as nice as all of these updates are, I wish they were just part of foursquare instead of some new app.” - Musicalbacon
“I’m as disappointed as the rest that you decided to split Foursquare into two apps instead of building on an already successful platform.” - Puppetbrown
On the other hand, some users are happy with the changes and look forward to the future of Swarm.
“Breaking the check-in experience out into it’s own app was the right move. It allows both users and devs to work together to focus on and improve the overall check-in experience.” - jfh_007
“Splitting into two apps was a smart move from Foursquare… this split will allow them to focus their attention on both the social aspect of checking in and the exploration aspect separately.” - Jonny_Epedemic
Swarm also allows users to see which of their friends are nearby and give the option to exchange messages. The system of badges, points and mayorships has been removed, but the option to see how many times you’ve checked into a particular place remains. As for the original Foursquare app, things have changed a bit there as well. Along with a new and improved logo, the new user interfaces caters to helping you find new “places you’ll love.”
Based on your location, the Foursquare app automatically suggests new places nearby and shows tips for some of the most popular spots. In Atlanta, as shown above, a gathering place (Piedmont Park), a restaurant (Antico Pizza Napoletana) and a coffee shop (Octane Coffee) are all suggested on the home page. Once you log in, personalized recommendations are provided, based on your previous check-in history.
We think the updates to Foursquare are great, but we’re on the fence about the new Swarm platform. There’s always a transitional period when you change things up, so we’ll see how things play out!
What are your thoughts on the new Foursquare/Swarm changes?