Foursquare kills check-in feature in app overhaul

Foursquare, the app known for letting users check into places, no longer lets users check into places -- yes, you read that right.

The New York City startup released a major revision to its app Wednesday that does not include the check-in feature. Instead, the revamped app is designed to help users discover new places to visit according to their individual tastes.

The new Foursquare gives users “personalized local search” results by learning their preferences. When searching for nearby places, results will be based on their tastes and the tastes of friends.

“If you love vintage clothing, it should tell you that there is a hidden gem nearby. If you’re in a new city, it should tell you that your friend Katy highly recommends this hole-in-the-wall restaurant downtown,” Foursquare said in a blog.


Fittingly, Foursquare’s logo is no longer a checkmark. Instead, the 5-year-old company now boasts a pink and white uppercase “F” stylized to look like both a map pin and a superhero emblem.

“We’ve always thought of Foursquare as giving you superpowers to explore your city, and our new logo reflects that vision,” Foursquare said.

After launching in 2009, Foursquare was one of the most popular social networks, but after others added similar check-in features (notably Facebook in 2010), the startup struggled to remain relevant and lost many users.

The company is hoping 2014 is its comeback year. Since December, it has raised $50 million, which has been used for the development of the revamped Foursquare app and Swarm, a new app launched in May. Swarm is a geo-location-based social network and has inherited many of the social aspects that have been stripped from the Foursquare app, including check-ins, mayorships and the feed showing what one’s friends are up to.

So far, Swarm has experienced high user growth, Foursquare says. “It’s been pretty intense keeping up with the growth (Foursquare didn’t have that many users for a few years), and you guys have sent a ton of feedback,” the company said, in a blog detailing some upcoming features for Swarm.

Twitter: @sal19