Over the summer, Foursquare pivoted from a fun, game based location mobile app to a location based restaurant review app with the aim to compete with Yelp. To throw a bone to loyal users who loved checking in, they created a second location based mobile check in app called Swarm*.
Swarm has a lovely new UI, they pick the location for you, most of my Foursquare friends are there, what I am supposed to do with it other than see where my friends are is unclear, and… Swarm is dull. As in boring.
I can still check in, sort of. I can still see what friends are up to around the world. But all the fun is gone. No points with quirky reasons for gaining points. No more competition with Juha Ristlainen, aka @Riussi, jockeying for position on the top of the leader board. No more bizarre user created location names. No more joy in using Foursquare/Swarm. No fun.
Yes, Swarm, I know that Jason, Annette, and Charlene are 30 miles away in LA. That’s nice. It was also nice to know that Lane was in LA 9 weeks ago. Thanks.
The fun of the old Foursquare was the reward of seeing how many quirky or mundane points that I would receive if I pulled out my phone constantly to check in. It was the reward of seeing what odd or outrageously named check spots people had created (25,000 cow farts for Harris Ranch or the local man cave in Seal Beach that I took great joy in stealing the mayorship of, etc. etc.).
With no more quirky points or named places, no more competition with friends in different time zones, and no mayorships to win or rest away/back my phone is staying in my purse or pocket unless I want to take a photo or specifically contact someone.
Gone is the Foursquare check in, gone is the laugh or groan at the points, gone is then the temptation to check Twitter or Instagram and then stay on those apps to view or chat, and then keeping my mobile in my hand wherever I am to then play with more apps.
Now with no reward or joy in pulling out my phone to check in on Foursquare everywhere I go, my Twitter and other mobile app usage has decreased to just a few times a day. And other than taking photos or complete a necessary communication, my mobile is now staying in my purse or pocket.
Who knew that the old Foursquare was such a gateway to more mobile usage all the way around? I didn’t until it was gone.
Goodbye Foursquare, I loved you, you were fun.
Now both you and Swarm are deleted/uninstalled.
* I got got an email from Swarm earlier this week which called Swarm the new Lifeblogging app. REALLY?!?!?!? 10 years too late on using that name for a mobile app. I will now slink off to my non-mancave to grumble in private.