Foursquare has always been one of my all time favourite apps. Which is probably surprising as hardly any of my friends have it, and I live in a mostly regional area which means not as many people to add places, rate them and leave helpful tips.
Whenever I would venture into the city, I would make good use of Foursquare using it to discover new places, tips about certain areas and leave my own tips for others. To me it was never about the check ins, the badges or the mayorships. That was just a cool bonus, but obviously for (some) others not so much.
There has been a lot of hate surrounding the new Foursquare app, especially it's decision to split into two apps. With check ins now on a separate app called Swarm. The removal of unlocking badges as well as no more overall mayorships, just ones between friends, have caused a public outrage. With nasty reviews, tweets and facebook rants, complaining that they will delete the app and never return because of the changes.
Yawn. Personally when it comes to new and improved things, I'm in love! I love upgrades, I love new technology. My sister started screaming and crying when I "helpfully" updated her iPad to iOS 7. I loved the new iOS, why wouldn't everyone?
Everyone should definitely just calm down and enjoy the new foursquare app and this is why.
1. It does more of what it's suppose to!
Finding places has never been easier, and you can find them through so many different ways. You can flick through various categories on the homepage for what you're after and alter setting to help you find where you want to go even faster.
2. It learns what you like as you check in!
The more you check in, the more it learns about what you like and where you like to go! As well as constantly getting you to update your tastes to know more about you, and showing you what searches are popular for the area you're in.
3. Tips & Rating are even better.The new Foursquare is more about the locations than ever. With tips becoming a huge part of what makes it so great. The more tips you leave and ratings you make, can help you become an expert in certain types of places. Which will give your tips that you leave, a little star with a label that you're an expert in these type of things! How cool is that. Your tips will be up higher, and will carry more weight. I definitely would rather listen to a menu item suggestion from a Mexican food expert if i'm out for Chimichangas.
I'm currently an expert in 3 things. My hometown, so basically anywhere I rate in the town where I live, I'm counted as an expert. Sweet! As well as clothing stores & movie theatres! I do love my fashion and films.
4. You don't have to check in if you don't want to.Something that people who didn't want to use Foursquare as a form of social media didn't exactly realise, is that you can use it to just find places that you like, and you don't have to check in and tell anyone where you're going.
5. But you can check in, and follow your friends if you want to.The second app, Swarm, works seamlessly with foursquare and switches back and forth swiftly and easily with buttons that jump you between the two. The two apps mean you don't need to have Swarm if you don't want to check in, and vice versa.
6. No more badges but there are stickers.You can unlock stickers from checking in at a variety of different places. A lot are still waiting to be discovered. The stickers stay next to your profile picture after you check in at a location. You can choose a different one every time you check in, and match them to the theme, or not. Your choice.
But why the two apps?Foursquare realised that while both features of the app were very popular, check ins & finding a place, no one really used them hand in hand. People were either using the app to check in everywhere, or they were trying to find good spots to eat sushi. They weren't checking to see where their friends were eating to help them decide.
In order to give both features the attention they truly deserved, the features were split over two apps. A different team was hired for each one. Now each app can reach it's true potential.
To read Foursquare's official reason for the app split, go here.
I'm so excited to use the new foursquare when I go on my big USA holiday in February! It will be great to keep track of where I've been as well as helping me find awesome places to go!