I’m done with Foursquare. Why? Well, they took what they did really really well, which was allow you to check-in to a location, and see who else was checked-in to that location with you, and did away with it. Well, mostly. Of course, people still want to check-in when they go somewhere, so Foursquare created a new app called Swarm. Swarm does what the Foursquare app did originally – lets you check-in when you go out.
But what will become of Foursquare? I’m guessing horrible, horrible failures. But in the short-term, Foursquare will tell you what there is to do and see based on your current location, i.e. coffee shops, movie theaters, restaurants, etc. Don’t try checking in though because there’s a whole new app for that.
I have a few concerns with they way that Foursquare has changed things up. The first is that we already have an app that tells us what to do or see or experience based on our current location; it’s called Yelp. If I need to know where to eat or what I can do to kill a few hours while I’m in a new city, I’m going to open Yelp, not Foursquare. Sure, Foursquare has tips, but they were nowhere near as comprehensive as what can be found on Yelp. That being said, if I want to let all of my friends know that I’m eating at a particular dining establishment, or visiting a specific museum, that’s where Foursquare would have previously come into play. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Foursquare wants to be Yelp which means if I want to share my location with my friends, I need to use Swarm. Or I could just call them. Who am I kidding? That’s crazy talk.
The next concern I have has to do with the fact that new apps almost always have issues. The issues may be small, but they are still issues nonetheless. New apps typically do not always provide the most pleasant of experiences which is sometimes okay, but sometimes it’s not. This is simply a fact of life that we have come to accept. Despite having been available for two months, Swarm is no different. From the beginning, the whole Swarm experience has felt pretty rough. Sure, updates have fixed some of the bugs and crashes, but despite trying to be a companion to Foursquare, it still feels like something not related to Foursquare at all. In fact, checking in was such a complete mess, that my wife gave up on using the app entirely.
My final concern is that checking-in is what made Foursquare fun. It was fast, it was easy, and it served a purpose. (It could be argued that the purpose was a complete waste of time and violation of privacy, but that’s beside the point.) If Foursquare wants to create a clone of Yelp, that’s their prerogative; but why did they have to change their primary app’s core functionality? Wouldn’t it have been more effective to launch a new app for discovery instead of completely overhauling the check-in app and then releasing a new check-in app? If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Maybe it’s just me, but that logic seems pretty sound. Of course, most things that make perfect sense in my mind seem to fly in the face of what the rest of the world does… I better not get started…
So, Foursquare, it’s official. You are dead to me. You have been uninstalled from my phone, and Swarm will not be taking your place. We had a good run while it lasted, but, as the say, all good things must come to an end. I wish you all the best, but something tells me that I’m not the only one who is moving on.