I have always been rooting for Foursquare, but the latest update bummed me out as it didn’t improve anything for me and felt more like the opposite. Yes, discovery, search and lists are nice, but there is a lot of labor needed on my end (the wrong end) and others already do most of that already fairly well (as @TEK describes here). However, after over 11,500 checkins I’m still a heavy user. Checking in has become a habit.
I don’t participate much in the practice of browsing tips as they usually are in the hundreds here in SF and too often completely outdated which renders them useless and simply become noise. (Who cares if a diner had a special last Thanksgiving or didn’t take credit cards back in 2011?) I also don’t travel that much so I don’t require a tourist guide.
Since I was so bummed out about the latest update I tried to figure out why I’m still using Foursquare so frequently and noticed that quite a few times during the day I’m opening the app just to see what the people I’m connected with are up to.I believe that really started for me when Foursquare added picture support and included them beautifully in the stream. It was like going from black and white to color TV. (Tweetbot, my favorite Twitter client, has done something similar last month.)
Basically any app these days is tapping into Foursquare’s location database with the effect that almost everything gets automatically posted there as well. Hence no need anymore for me to open Instagram, Path, Soundtracking, Flickr or Eyem — which I hardly ever do anymore to simply consume. Granted, content from Facebook and Twitter isn’t there, but that is a good thing as that content is of different nature in my eyes.
At this point Foursquare is practically my social hub. I catch most of the pictures my “online friends” are taking, what music they are currently listening to, which concert they are at and what movie they are watching. And I’m interacting with that content. Lots of times I would ask others about a specific posted (e.g. “How was Iron Man 3?” or “How is that concert venue?”). And they do the same. All the time.
Interestingly enough that is exactly what Path (which I ultimately fell out of love with when they added stickers) is striving for, but Path is the app where everything has to start while Foursquare is where everything ends up now. I feel like what Path set out to do Foursquare somewhat — accidentally or organically — achieved.