The email hit me like a bullet. Thank you loyal Foursquare user, but after 4,281 check-ins, Foursquare is going away tomorrow.....just like that. Swarm may fill the void, but where are my mayorships? Gone? I like being able to check-in to cities easier, but at what cost? Where are my badges? Are they gone too?
I loved battling daily for mayorship of my local taco shack, Mi Ranchito. It was a daily battle between me and some dude with a sinister skull looking icon. Now that I have moved to Portland, skull dude has won that battle. #wellplayed my taco loving friend, I hope I was a worthy opponent. Will I get to fight more battles with Swarm? Swarm, you only have 1.5 stars in the app store. Are we sure this is the new app that Foursquare users crave?
When I first started Foursquare, I was scared to tell everyone where I was. That quickly faded away after I saw my first check-in special....free queso. I love queso, but FREE queso....just for checking in. I had at least a dozen free quesos because of you Foursquare. I will always love you for that. I don't see specials on my Swarm app, there is no surprise at the end of a check-in. The gamification was fun too. A newbie badge? Then I became an adventurer...next an explorer. I became the Magellan of fast food. I didn't know I could be rewarded for pigging out.
As time wore on, I started leveling up. I could become a 2x and 3x achiever of a badge the more I visited different restaurants. Now I was getting rewarded for variety AND for loyalty with my mayorships. I was so happy when I would check-in and level up my Fresh Brew badge.
My favorite Foursquare moment: I was buying teacher supplies at our local store. Having just moved schools, I was trying to refresh some of the old material for some newer fresh decorations. One of my old students and his mom popped in the door. They had seen my check-in and gave me one hundred dollars for my new classroom upgrade. Just like that. When has an app EVER done that for you? Swarm will do that for me? I think not.
At the end, right before Swarm, my badges were getting legendary. I remember sitting at conference with Dean Shareski, talking some badges. He wanted to know what level Porky badge I had....Level 5, thank you very much. Impressed he inquired some more....Hot Tamale, Level 10. What? Yep, that is 48 different Mexican restaurants. Even Shareski had to admit those were some impressive badges. This coming from a guy that posts #meatpics of his BBQ.
Swarm just isn't the same. Here are my favorite badges which I suppose are now retired (sniff, sniff) :