Using Perks on Foursquare’s Swarm app

Using Perks on Foursquare's Swarm app

Using Perks on Foursquare’s Swarm app

Do you use Foursquare or Foursquare’s spin-off called Swarm? If you do, you would have noticed in the last few months that they have actually brought back a feature that Foursquare used to have before the big split.

This feature is called Perks. Perks offer users discounts and other deals at restaurants and businesses in exchange for checkins, very similar to what the original Foursquare was designed to do.

Many people were upset when the company split and they spun off Swarm. I could see personally the number of people using Perks on Foursquare’s Swarm app disappeared dramatically. The company realized that the game mechanics of the checkins was a major part of its success and the Perks were a big part of that as well.

They brought Perks back so that now it’s a great incentive to go and check in and get some sort of redemption at a restaurant or a business.

Initially, when Foursquare were offering Perks in the early days, it was a bit clunky. In fact, I remember a time when I went to a certain coffee shop and claimed my perk, the people at the counter had no idea what I was talking about. No manager knew what the Perk was, so it was a case of a head office creating a great idea but not passing it on to the actual staff.

The difference in this particular rerun version of Perks, is that when you check in, you get the Perk automatically on your Swarm account and a barcode will pop up right then and there, which will enable it to be read at the counter of the venue that you are frequenting, so you get that Perk right there and then.

It’s not a silly little code or some sort of screen grab that used to be around when Foursquare were doing Perks.

Last year, Swarm also brought back Badges and Mayorships. Many users were very unhappy when they lost those Mayorships but now they’ve brought those back and that seems to be paying dividends as well. I’m seeing more and more people using the Mayorships and also Badges inside the Swarm app.

Using Perks on Foursquare's Swarm app


There’s also a very detailed breakdown of your check-ins over time and a ‘The Weekly Swarm’ feature that summarizes where your friends have been in the past seven days.

In the image below, you can see the summary of how many checkins I have done, how many photos I have taken and all of my friends on swarm.

Using Perks on Foursquare's Swarm app


By tapping on the graph, or View more, I can see the top 5 categories that I have frequented (in this image its All time vs last 60 days as above) …. and then by taping that part of the graph, i get to see even further detail…

Using Perks on Foursquare's Swarm app


So, if I tap on airport terminals, it shows me exactly what part of the airport I check in the most…

Using Perks on Foursquare's Swarm app

and upon further investigation and tapping on airport terminals, I get to see which terminals I have actually checked in at, I also get to see the dates and time of those as well.

Using Perks on Foursquare's Swarm app


Of course, Foursquare is still around and they have been adding features as well, to incentivize its checkins. They’re using a thing called Challenges. So unlike Perks, which are available automatically at the checkin of the venue, Challenges are like contests that allow users to earn prizes for completing certain goals. Like checking in at two ice cream stores in the same week sort of thing.

They understand that the “game-ification” experience is still very vital. In fact, many other businesses rely on these checkins. So for instance, companies like Uber are using the places’ data and they rely on this data from the Swarm checkins. So it really does affect the entire ecosystem of everything that they’ve been doing.

From the Foursquare blog:

Foursquare will enable Uber to customize, improve and increase the breadth of our non-personal POI location data to enhance Uber’s rider and driver experience. Also, these modifications will also be incorporated into Foursquare’s venue database going forward.

Have you been back to Swarm since its split? Have you used Foursquare since its split? Have you been Using Perks on Foursquare’s Swarm app?

Love to know if you’re using it and what your take on that is.

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