Foursquare Levels Up to 3.0

Foursquare Levels Up to 3.0

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When discussing gamification, especially with those not previously familiar, it’s hard not to bring up Foursquare. Their premise is so artfully simple, absolutely anyone with a computer or a mobile phone can understand. But just because it’s a basic idea doesn’t stop Foursquare from evolving. A new blog entry was posted Tuesday announcing the 3.0 app for iPhone and Android with a bunch of new features.

It’s clear that the developers have really been analyzing the data and feedback from users to bring them changes that can enhance the overall experience. Rare badges and earning mayorships act as real life motivators for players. They’ll do more to earn badges and increase loyalty to a store to keep their titles. Seeing your friends check-in helps you to discover new places. The new Explore tab allows users to search for nearby places by searching for say, “vegan” or “clubs”. It will also show you nearby friends and make suggestions based on your regular and recent check-ins. You can also see what’s “Trending”  – locations with a lot of recent check-ins. Newly revamped leaderboards give points for more than just checking in, like bumping into a friend, or visiting a new city or genre of venue. This adds a layer of depth to the game, as checking in means more than simply existing at a location. There’s more emphasis on doing new things and being more social, which really should be the purpose of Fourquare in general.

The new Foursquare is also giving more opportunities for merchants to benefit from the loyalty that check-ins generate. Some businesses give deals to mayors. But since there’s only one mayor per location, this can be discouraging for other players. An addition in the 3.0 app is Specials, where shop owners can offer deals and discounts to not only mayors, but swarms, first-timers and more.

It seems  that Foursquare is making good on their mantra of “every check-in counts”. These new additions help to balance out some of earlier failings of the system. Foursquare keeps growing, with almost 7.5 millions users and their team more than quadrupling since their initial launch in 2009. So it only makes sense that the framework of the game should shift and grow along with the company and its players. We look forward to seeing more development as time goes on. You can read the complete post on the official Foursquare blog here.

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