My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Foursquare splits into Foursquare and Swarm - Twitter-eqsue Restaurant Recommendations while Tracking Friend's Feeds and Plans as the Real Beat Comes Alive

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Foursquare splits into Foursquare and Swarm - Twitter-eqsue Restaurant Recommendations while Tracking Friend's Feeds and Plans as the Real Beat Comes Alive

“We saw two common use cases in the old Foursquare App that are best encapsulated in the night of a New Yorker. For dinner, you look for a place that matches your taste, and afterwards you look for a bar where your friends are. In less than two percent of App opens did we see those two behaviors overlap. No one was saying, ‘I’m in the mood for chili, I wonder which of my friends are getting chili right now.'”

 VP of product experience, Jon Steinback, commenting on why Foursquare split into two Apps, Foursquare and Swarm

Fans of LBS (Locating Based Service) Foursquare, I have good news and I have more Good news!

First the good News!

Foursquare is now on Window Phone and the Foursqaure App for Windows Phone has already been in the Windows Phone Store since Wednesday November 19th 2014 as reported in the article “Foursquare finally launches its revamped App on Windows Phone”, published 10/11/2014 by NAPIER LOPEZ, The Next Web.


The News was officially announced on Foursquare blog in their post “The all-new Foursquare for Windows Phone is here. Get it today”, published NOVEMBER 19, 2014 (10:25 AM), The Foursquare Blog.

Foursquare has survived it’s makeover that started on Thursday May 15th 2014 that saw it split into two separate Apps, one called Swarm and the other still named Foursquare as reported in “Get to know Foursquare's new Swarm App”, published May 15, 2014 10:00 AM PDT by Jason Cipriani, CNET News.


Check-ins are now down with the Swarm App, that now has new and improved features that Foursquare users will love. Meanwhile Foursquare has separated to basically become a recommendation service to compete against Yelp, much to the dismay of long-time aficionados of Foursquare as noted in the article “Fly Or Die: The New Foursquare”, published Aug 12, 2014 by Jordan Crook, TechCrunch.

The Neighbourhoods features makes it possible for you to go into stealth mode by swiping from left-to-right across your avatar and location. Orange for active, grey for invisible to your friends; very simple!


You can’t see them and they can't see you, very much like Facebook's Nearby Friends App launched earlier in May 2014 as described in my blog article entitled “Facebook launches Nearby Friends feature - WhatsApp VoIP and Oculus Rift VR Wearable Computing Takes flight as FB look towards the Future in the Year of the Horse”.

That said, Swarm has also fixed the Mayor-for-life debacle by making a mayorship something that's shared among friends. No more Mayors for life; that honour is dependent of you actually frequenting the place the most, making the gamification of Foursquare a more friend-centric affair.

They're also killed the Badges and replaced them with stickers, which you unlock by checking. Probably you never did check in before on the older Foursquare App, but the process is the same in Swarm; tap once to check in and be told where you are, with the second tap confirming your location.

Swarm Feeds - Tracking your Friend to get free Coffee while they learn your Plans just got easier

Feeds are now the thing and there are four of them. You have one that's basically like a Targeting range finder to tell you how close your Friends are, kinds like Radar. Handy if you wanna sponge on a friend for a cup of Expresso.


For the nostalgic for the old days of Foursquare comes the Chronological list of your friends activities so you can known who best to bother. The reverse is with the Plans feed; you post what you're up to in that feed. Finally a bit of familiarity with Facebook with a feed for likes, comments and Friends Requests rounds out the lot.

Next feed is the familiar chronological list of friend activity. Plans, which is something I'll cover more of in just a minute, is where you can broadcast what you're up to, and ask friends to join you. The last tab is where you'll find notifications of likes, comments, and friend requests.

The New Foursquare – New logo and Recommendations by the Score

While Swarm lets you locate you friends to beg them money, the new Foursquare now has a complete make-over, including a new logo as noted in the article “Foursquare gets personal with local search and new logo”, published July 23, 2014 8:30 PM PDT by Dara Kerr, CNET News.

The Foursquare App tries to determine you actually taste in food by hitting you with a survey the minute you launch the App for the first time as noted in the article “This Is the new Foursquare”, published Aug 6, 2014 by Jordan Crook, Techcrunch. It then starts recommend you to restaurants that it has listed based on your tastes and not where your friends have been.


Apparently what you like to eat and the fact that your friend might like it are mutually exclusive concepts; hence the reason why Foursquare management felt a split into two Apps was necessary.

To this end, the much better looking Foursquare App and has come a long way since March 2013 when it only had Burger King discount deal in partnership with American Express as I'd reported in my blog article entitled “Foursquare ramps up Business Model with Burger King Discount Deals from VISA and MasterCard - How Telecom Providers MNP helps The Conjuring of Free Calling Credit via LBS”.


Foursquare follows the recommendation of an army of Restaurant connoisseurs from TimeOut, the Washington Post, the New York Times and yes, your friends…on Foursquare, who you can follow if they give great reviews. You soon learn why a place is good or bad instead of being greeted with Tales from the Crypt like Yelp.


Foursquare  review section reminds me of Twitter as you're only got a few characters to really can a Restaurant, making the possibility of bumping into long-winded narratives about bad food and dirty waiter as is the case on Yelp very unlikely.



Foursquare
, in competing against Yelp, present’s Yelp-ish behavior by its members even as Swarm has basically evolved into what Foursquare should have been.

90% of former Foursquare users agree; they're actively checking in again, according to VP of Product Experience, Jon Steinback, who also hinted at game-centric future for Swarm, quote: “With the old gamified system, only a few people could actually win. We want to reinvent the game mechanics to make them more relevant. We’re thinking about stickers and interesting ways to compete with friends instead of the whole network, which means that our plans around gamification in Swarm won’t include points or mayorships.”


After all, your friend may not like you taste in Restaurants and aren't like to join you. But you can still Swarm with them after you're girlfriend have parted ways for the evening for a night on the town in New York, when the real beat comes alive!

Here’s the link:


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