Hey all -
So this has been a pretty big week for us. Since we launched last March, our #1 most requested feature has been “please add my city!” After a few months of work, we thrilled to announce that we finally ripped apart the “foursquare only works in cities” model and replaced it with “foursquare everywhere” - the ability to add places and check-in anywhere in the world.
News of this spread pretty far and wide (we were a trending topic on Twitter for a bit!) though the news hit when we were about 75% of the way thru the “everywhere” launch (which is why some things may have looked wonky for a few days). And now that we’re about 95% done, we wanted to take a minute and tell you all the things that are new and some of the things that have changed:
- City Buckets - With “everywhere” you no longer have to place yourself into one of our “city buckets”. A lot of you signed up for “San Francisco” when you were really in San Jose or “Munich” when you were someplace else in Eastern Europe. With “foursquare everywhere” you can now place yourself anywhere in the world. When you use our mobile apps (iPhone, Android, Palm, Blackberry beta) you’ll see that foursquare will no longer “snap” you to the nearest city. And when you use the website, you’ll see that the list of cities has been replaced with a text box that allows you to enter any location you can think of. The only piece of old “city bucket” code you’ll still see is in iPhone 1.4.3 (the city list when you sign up) which we’ll kiss goodbye when 1.5 sneaks into the iTunes Store.
- City Badges - Every city used to have their own set of badges - that’s why some of you earned the “Newbie” badge 5x (for five different cities) or unlocked the “School Night” badges 3x in three different cities. While this was a great idea at first, it started getting silly when we jumped from 20 to 50 to 100 cities. With “foursquare everywhere” we rolled all these duplicate badges into one (e.g. 5 Newbie badges have become 1 Newbie badge). Now when you travel around, you’ll no longer lose all your hard-earned badges every time you land in a new city. Instead you can take that “Don’t Stop Believing” badge with you from New York to Paris to Tokyo. Also, since we figured a few of you may get bent out of shape about your 3 “Newbie” badges being rolled into one, we also just launched a whole new set of badges for you to try to unlock (10 total… with more on the way!) And don’t worry, city-specific badges (e.g. Brooklyn4Life, Gossip Girl, Socialite) aren’t going anywhere… in fact, our new back-end actually makes it easier for us to create them. So, we’re open for suggestions :)
- Adding New Venues - Asking you for the address of a place every time you add a new venue can be a drag… which is why we finally made these address fields optional. Now when you add a venue from one of the foursquare apps and skip over manually entering the address, we’ll use the phone’s GPS to set the location of that place. This should make adding new places much, much easier.
- City Leaderboards - When we dropped our “city buckets” we also tweaked the way we handle the leaderboard. Starting next week, instead of comparing yourself to everyone in “San Francisco”, you’ll be ranked against everyone who has picked up points within within 25 miles / 40 km of your current location. This isn’t really a big deal as it still “feels” the same, but we still wanted to let you know about the change. Oh, and the leaderboard still resets every Sunday at midnight (local time).
So what’s next for foursquare? As excited as we are to launch “everywhere”, we still got lots of new stuff planned for you all (and lots of work to do!). We’ve been listening to all the feedback and suggestions you’ve been sending in and here’s a sneak peek at what to expect in the next few weeks:
- Better Location Fixes - iPhone version 1.5 is much better at locating places nearby. You may have also seen that we added new filters to call out places that are “Trending Nearby” and places that are popular with other foursquare users. Look for lots more goodness like this from us.
- The BlackBerry App - Our #2 most requested feature :) More than 5000 of you are actively testing the BlackBerry beta app and we look forward to opening this up for everyone to play with *next week*. (Feedback so far has been fantastic, so special thanks to all of our beta testers!)
- Design / UX - In between ripping apart cities and rolling out new features, we’re also in the middle of a big UX / design overhaul for both the iPhone and website. We’re thankful for all the feedback you’ve give us so far and really look forward to launching this (long overdue!) Stay tuned!
- Tweaks to the Points System - We’ve been doing a lot of tinkering over here so look for new ways to earn points and work your way up the leaderboard. We’ll also be rolling out some tweaks to help curb the some of those cheat-checkins.
- Palm WebOS App - Forget about the next few weeks, this one is available now! Built off our API by Geoff Gauchet, Christopher Van Buskirk and Andrew Walpole. Go get it! http://foursquare.com/palm/
And that’s about it! Thanks again for all the support - we can’t be any more fired up to be building things that so many of you are excited about.
- team foursquare