***Guest post by Kevin “Special K” Green***
Foursquare (if you don’t know what Foursquare is, stop now and go back to playing Angry Birds) completely overhauled their app this week and launched #AllNewFoursquare. If you’re a long time reader of the blog, you may remember Monsieur Baguette’s unofficial rules of the game. And if you know Monsieur personally, you are aware that he is ADDICTED to Foursquare and it has spilled over to his family and friends. For example, our 84-year-old grandfather checks-in daily and our 7-year-old cousin knows more about the app than his mom! (Just kidding if you’re reading this, Aunty Joy, but if you’re not, he does!)
So to get back to the point of this post, I’d like to review the pros and cons of the #AllNewFoursquare.
The new format is super clean and easy to use. Checking-in, adding a picture to your check-in, commenting on and uploading your check-in to Facebook and Twitter are all very simple. Although the share buttons are not labeled, any iPhone user can figure them out.
Check-ins with a picture or comment and user profiles have an improved look and almost made me forget what the old profiles looked like (they were too blocky and provided less info).
The ability to “like” or “dislike” a venue is interesting, too, because the ratio of likes to dislikes or dislikes to likes may sway your decision.
Lastly, the explore tab provides a more intuitive user experience. The feature not only shows you venue recommendations with their location simultaneously, but it is faster and visually appealing. Also, it is easier to choose the category of venues and locations and the suggestions change based on the time and day of the week. For example, it will give you shops, coffee joints and restaurants on a weekday and bars, clubs, theaters, etc. at night on the weekend – which is very savvy. I barely used the old explore tab due to the inaccuracy of the suggestions and the long wait time while the recommendations loaded. But now it’s great. And I doubt my Yelp app will be used any time soon.
The running timeline and the check in “like” button. What is this Facebook??? Seriously, we love Foursquare because it was so different in many ways from “The Book.” If you, like me, have some rapid checker-iners, then your “Friends” tab will be clogged up with the same person checking-in all day. I don’t need to see that! If I could propose an additional redesign, it would be this one change. They could make it an OPTION to see past check-ins. This would appease the Foursquare-masochists. The “Friends” tab would show the most recent check-in and with a touch of the screen, you could see a person’s “timeline.”
Obviously, Foursquare did not lose me as a user due to the redesign. Honestly, I love the new look (at first I was a little disappointed) and the ease of exploring. But I feel that I will open the app fewer times each day due to cons listed above.
I ask that you don’t let my opinion influence how you use or don’t use the app. Hey, you might be a new user and absolutely love it or you may be my mom and tweet things like, “The new foursquare app stinks!” I recommend you check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.
Monsieur Baguette, how many baguettes does Foursquare earn for #AllNewFoursquare?