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From Foursquare to Swarm: Mayor 2.0, Insights, Stickers & Goodbye Badges

ashleyzeckman
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The time has come to say goodbye to Foursquare mayorships as we know them. You may remember our recent post in which we discussed Foursquare's decision to split their app in two. Foursquare's new application, Swarm, will be launching this week. What do you need to know about Foursquare's plan?

1. Why Is Foursquare Making Moves?

Foursquare took to their blog to explain not only what the upcoming changes are, but also why they're making them. Some of the highlights include:

  • App Mechanics: In 2009 Foursquare had approximately 50,000 users, which their application could easily support. Now that they are up to nearly 50,000,000 the mechanics began to break down.
  • Points: Unfortunately points began to be less and less reflective of actual achievement. The example that Foursquare shared was: "a check-in at a concert in Istanbul is really different than one at a dog park in New York (and the thousands of types of check-ins in between)."
  • Badges: According to users, badges stopped feeling special, as Foursquare added more and more to meet the demands of different people around the world.
  • Mayorships: It was becoming nearly impossible to earn a mayor crown as the number of users increased.

Swarm

2. Mayorships Are Frozen & Will Be Changing

As of May 9, there will be no more ousting of mayors in Foursquare. If you currently hold a mayorship it is yours, for the time being. This is in order to may room for mayor 2.0 in Swarm.

How will mayors 2.0 function?

"In Swarm, mayors 2.0 is based on the same 60-day historical window, so if you're mayor of a place where you and your friends go now, you'll be mayor amongst your friends in the new app," according to Foursquare.

In addition to the information above, Foursquare also shared the following insight into mayors 2.0 on Swarm:

"We wanted to get back to that fun way to compete with your friends instead of all 50,000,000 people that are on Foursquare. Places can have many different mayors, one for each circle of friends, instead of just a single mayor at each place. [Meaning] you and your friends can compete for the mayorship of your favorite bar, without having to worry about the guy who is there every. single. day"

3. Gain Insight Into Your Life

Insights have been wildly popular with Foursquare. Swarm will continue to share tidbits with you such as "It's your 3rd week in a row at XYZ bar" (Foursquare used the example of the gym but I think a bar is much more realistic). Additionally, Swarm will alert you how long it's been since you've hung out with another Swarm user that you are connected to.

4. Introducing Stickers!

Users can choose free "stickers" from Swarm to express how they are feeling or what they are up to. As you begin to explore different places, you will unlock more stickers based on the places you visit.

Are You Ready to Swarm?

It appears that Swarm will be available for download as early as this week. Are you still on the fence with Foursquare's split or are you ready to give Swarm a try?

In their post, Foursquare teases that they've built a "spiritual successor" to badges, but there is little detail about how that will function. They've also built in a few surprises into the application. What do you think those are?


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