Foursquare’s New App Doesn’t Know Me at All
I’ve used Foursquare for a long time. Long after I even thought it was useful, I continued to pull it up when I wanted to check-in to my next location. It became almost ritualistic…I had to do it or it never happened. Today, all that changed as Foursquare made room for Swarm. I recall reading something about the change awhile back, but honestly, I never thought about it much until today when I noticed the Foursquare logo has changed on my iPhone.
Upon opening the new app, I was basically told to go download Swarm (which is the new Foursquare) and how awesome Foursquare is now. Now I’m not in any way opposed to change, but wouldn’t it have just made more sense to leave Foursquare as the check-in app instead of rebranding it as Swarm and then naming your new app the same name as your old app that you just renamed? Confused? Me too.
The weird thing is that I realize all apps are about collecting data, and in Foursquare’s (the old one, not the new one) case, behavioral data. Foursquare can analyze the data I’ve provided to figure out that I’m actually a rather dull guy who has habits and routines and likes to go to the same 5 places to eat or drink (oh no, they’ve invaded my privacy!). With all the check-ins I’ve had, you’d think Foursquare might have learned a thing or two about me. Instead, I was presented with the list of items that might interest me that you see as the graphic for this post. Go ahead and click on it to get a larger version that you can read…
Huh? I Might Like What, Foursquare?
Chicken fingers – Well played Foursquare, this is one of the few you’ve nailed. Considering how often I check into Buffalo Wings & Rings, this one was a freebie…let’s dig deeper.
Brunch food – I can’t remember the last time I went to “brunch.” Even when I have been to brunch, I always call it lunch or breakfast, depending on what I’m hankering for.
I’m not going to analyze every item, so let’s just pull out the good ones now…
Trendy places – Name one time I checked into somewhere “trendy” Foursquare…go on, I dare ya.
Bread pudding – Who has ever claimed to have an interest in bread pudding. You might like it, but do you really have an interest in it?
Gorgonzola – True fact about me: any cheese with blue crap in it makes me want to barf. Literally, not figuratively.
Mai tais – The last time I drank Mai tais was that lost weekend in Vegas that involved a bag of mushrooms, cranberry vodka, and me wearing a Jägermeister flag as a cape. Or was it that lost weekend in New Orleans with the guys from Caviar? Either way, it was a long time ago and definitely pre-Foursquare.
Fondue – Let me open up a few buttons on this shirt, get my gold chains out, and officially welcome you to my bachelor pad. Robert Reed does fondue, I fondon’t.
Laser tag – The last time I played laser tag was the first time I played laser tag and I was living in LA at the time. We were bored, it seemed like something fun to do. Some little kids kicked my ass. It wasn’t so fun anymore.
I will admit it did some potential interests – Thai food, Japanese food, grilled cheese sandwiches, lasagna, and hot wings, but overall, I’d call it a massive failure of getting to know me through my data points.
With all that data floating around on all these apps, why is it that none of them seem to “get me?” Is it bad programming, a lack of artificial intelligence, or am I the flaw? Is it just my boring, everyday life that causes the intuition-engines of these apps to push steam out of their ears like the old cartoons? Either way, I’m back to square one…the machines just don’t understand me, so it’s time to move on. Farewell Foursquare, good luck with your new friend Swarm.