Posted in: Mobile software

Foursquare gets re-branded; wants to go against Yelp

If you’re a foodie or just someone who has difficulty on deciding where to eat, then you’ve probably heard of Yelp.

You’ve probably heard of Foursquare as well, the restaurant application that was primarily used for checking into places to let your friends know where you’ve eaten. However, Foursquare wants to change that.

The Foursquare team started the redefinition of its app by beginning with a fresh re-branding, to sway users away from the idea that just checking into restaurants was its main purpose; those duties have been delegated almost entirely to the standalone app, Swarm.

CEO Dennis Crowley explains the problems with the previous brand image and Foursquare app:

“The check-in story has dominated the brand and user experience…we’d hear people say ‘I had no idea I could use this app to search for places.’…The existing version of Foursquare didn’t have enough room for us to flex all the things we wanted to do…”

So what are the new features? A “Most Popular” section in the app will let users know of the hottest, new nearby restaurants that are getting love from users. These users would have to check in using Swarm, however, as Foursquare’s new direction is laser-focused on helping you find new places to eat. Its check-in feature won’t be available for much longer as the company will soon be phasing it out of Foursquare entirely.

It’s nice to see that the company is willing to evolve to take its brand to the next level and stay competitive, but one has to wonder how much both applications will get used, especially if you consider that Swarm and Foursquare will have separate friends lists. If Foursquare’s data will rely on the check-ins of Swarm, it seems like a recipe for disaster. Time will tell if this new strategy will pay off.

What do you think of Foursquare’s changes?

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