I’ve used foursquare since it first launched. I’m usually the person people come to when they “don’t get what the big deal is” about the product.
Ever since the team has introduced the new Swarm app though, I’ve been a little confused. Why would they isolate the social aspect of foursquare and make it a whole other app?
I finally get it. Foursquare took root in the basic check-in feature. But it’s grown past that now. Instead of removing the check-in feature altogether, they’ve built Swarm to take care of the social aspect which a lot of people still use and love, while the original foursquare app focuses on providing recommendations based on your location, personal tastes, ratings, and tips.
What I originally thought was a demotion of the original foursquare app, is in fact a promotion to something bigger and better.
Love seeing these blog posts from people super excited about where we’re taking Foursquare.
Everyone explores the world differently – guided by their own unique tastes, their friends, and the people they trust. Local search has never been good at this. It doesn’t get you, and, as a result, everyone gets the same one-size-fits-all results. Why should two very different people get the same recommendations when they visit Paris? Or the same list of places when they’re looking for a bar? We’re about to change that. In a couple weeks, we’re rolling out a brand new version of Foursquare that’s all about you. Tell us what you like, and we’ll be on the lookout for great places that match your tastes, wherever you are.
This means a few changes.
- First, starting tomorrow, we’re moving all check-ins to our new app, Swarm. Don’t worry; all your past check-ins, all your friends, all your photos, they’re all automatically in Swarm.
Over three-quarters of you are already on the new app. (Thank you! And keep sending us feedback; we’re hustling on making improvements every day – get a preview of what’s next here) For everyone still using Foursquare to check in, you’ll need to download Swarm to keep checking in.
- Second, if you build a totally new app, you need a totally new logo. Our logo is changing from the check-in checkmark to something representing the new Foursquare. We designed it to be a mix of map pin and superhero emblem. We’ve always thought of Foursquare as giving you superpowers to explore your city, and our new logo reflects that vision. It’s coming soon to a homescreen near you.
- Finally, we wanted to give everyone a peek at what’s coming. Here’s what you see when you open the new Foursquare. No two people view the world exactly the same, so no two people will have the same experience with the app. Once you teach Foursquare a couple things about you – add tastes, follow experts, or even just walk around for a few days – the app will be 100% yours.
If you use both Swarm and Foursquare, they work seamlessly together. On the left, a venue page for a person who only uses Foursquare. On the right, there is a check-in button if you have Swarm installed.
This is the beginning of the ‘personalized local search’ future we’ve been talking about since we started Foursquare. It’s been built with the help of our amazing 50,000,000-strong community, with all your tips, check-ins, photos, and the smarts we layered on top of that. Those of you have been with us since the beginning, your check-ins and history will continue to help shape your recommendations. For those of you giving us a try for the first time – you still get all the benefits of a better way to explore any neighborhood, no check-ins required.
We can’t wait to get this in your hands. If you use Foursquare to check in, download Swarm today. And, if you’ve been waiting for real local search, not just the yellow pages on your phone, stay tuned. The all new Foursquare will be here really soon.
So many people hustling like holy hell to make this happen. The app launches soon and it’s really something special. Very very happy, very very proud.
Just a little under 31 years ago, I played a key role in a conspiracy theory that grew up around a passenger plane downed by a Russian missile. Trust me, I did not mean to be involved.
On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines flight 007, a Boeing 747 with 269 passengers, was shot down over the Sea of Japan. At about 6am that morning, I arrived at my summer job at the American Embassy in Tokyo where my task was usually to start up the computer which had been turned off over night. But on this morning, I realized the system was already engaged and that a surprisingly large number of workstations had been left on over night. While rare, I had seen this pattern before when a Washington deadline for information was looming.
Not long after I arrived in my office, I received a call from a secretary in the Agriculture Department who liked to play a computer game before her workday started. Her favorite game had a bug that regularly froze her workstation. This was the “bad old days” of computers and the only way to reset her station was from my central console.
On this day, I highlighted her workstation and hit the F6 key to reset. But my screen went temporarily black and then seemed to be starting again. I realized that I had mistakenly hit F7 and reset all the workstations in the embassy. This realization didn’t bother me much, because no one except the Agriculture section secretary was usually on the computer system this early in the morning.
But then all hell broke lose.
My boss, a Japanese computer engineer named Itoh, poked his head in the door. This was a shock because I had never seen Mr. Itoh before 10am ever. My job was to come in early and leave early and he arrived late and stayed late to shut down the system each night. He asked me what had happened. I told him I had shut down the system by mistake. He shook his head and ran down the hall.
Next, the head administrator, who I had only seen once in the computer room, walked in. He asked where Mr. Itoh was. I pointed down the hall. And he ran that direction as well.
More than an hour later, the Administrative Director returned to my office to explain what had happened. He told me about the Korean Airline disaster and that no one really knew what was going on, but that most of the information available was coming in from Japanese sources—first from Japanese fishing ships in the area and later from Japanese defense forces who were being dispatched to look for debris. A team of translators and US diplomats had been readying the first report for President Reagan at the time I turned off the computer systems. As this was a very early computer with limited backup capability, hours of work of dozens of experts had been lost when I inadvertently closed down the computer.
I, naturally, felt terrible and was, appropriately, fired.
It was only weeks later that I began to comprehend the effects of this single keystroke mistake. President Reagan was criticized in the press for his administration’s delayed announcement of the tragedy. But more troublesome, the reports that were being compiled in the US Embassy at the time of my error were meant to be shared with the South Korean government. As the team in Tokyo went back to rewriting the report—with clear evidence that the plane had been downed in the Sea of Japan—the South Korean government, working from flawed data, announced that the airliner had simply been forced to land in Russian territory and that all passengers and crew were safe.
That Korean announcement and the slow response by the US President—both caused by delayed real information—caused decades of conspiracy theories. Until the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, many Koreans clung to the hope that their loved ones were still alive and well in some Siberian prison camp.
So today, in the face of a Malaysian Airline crash in the Ukraine—and with all the associated speculation of 24-hour news organizations and the Tweetosphere, my advice is to take a deep breath, count to ten, and know that there is a very good chance that truth in the matter will be forthcoming very soon. And let’s hope that there is no stupid 23-year-old with his finger on an important keyboard in this information chain.