Foursquare And Seven Years Ago. . .

Has it really been seven years since Foursquare emerged on the digital landscape and became the first location-based social network to take hold of our zeitgeist? Do you remember how check-ins and being acknowledged as a mayor of your local Starbucks distinguished you as a member of the social media elite -- and that the more places you visited, the more popular you became  — or so you thought?

Foursquare Classic

Well that was the brainchild of Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai conceived back in 2008. Looking foward to 2015 however, Foursquare has taken a reassessment of what it wants to be now that it’s grown-up. Jordan Crook of TechCrunch describes this evolution as “the final traces of the old Foursquare are being wiped from existence, as the new Foursquare is currently going out as an update to Window Phone users.”

This past summer, the flailing app made an announcement about reinventing itself. To that end it's now splitting its 7-year old GPS service into two separate applications — namely, Swarm and the new Foursquare.

Swarm spins off

Swarm will take over the check-in functionality of the old Foursquare, allowing users to keep tabs of their check-ins and seeing where their friends and followers are in relation to them. The new Foursquare, on the other hand, would compete directly with recommendations services like Yelp, using all of the company’s collective data to deliver personalized recommendations about the latest restaurants, bars, theaters and other cool attractions nearby.

Windows & iPads

Subsequently, the new Foursquare is now being delivered in an update to Windows Phone,where it will be the first time that those devices will be using the same version of the app -- with the same extensive features -- as their Android and iOS counterparts.

Additionally, the company launched Foursquare for iPad, and the tablet version of the app includes some new features, specifically travel planning and local recommendations features.

"Choose your city, and you’ll get a personalized list of all the great places there," the company wrote in a blog post. ". . . and, you can easily save anything you like to your dream itinerary."

Let your fingers do the tapping. . .

When you open the app, you’ll be presented with a number of tags or tastes that you can tap to best describe your preferences for the places you’re visiting. Everything from specific dishes like breakfast burritos, to categories like “quick meals” or “happy hour” are available. Once Foursquare has an idea of what you prefer, they’ll then provide you with options of similar establishments you might like as well. Similar to Google Now, the general idea is you shouldn’t have to search for what you’re looking for — Foursquare will intuitively provide you with the answer — and perhaps an ad or two to convince you further.


Going up against Yelp

Foursquare has been touting its capabilities and functionality of being able to compete with Yelp for viewership and restaurant marketing for more than a year now. To say that it's aligned its app as an alternative "to Yelp would be an understatement," according to a review in Adweek.

Yelp's reviews are traditionally written after the fact rather than in the moment—which is perhaps going to be one of Foursquare's greatest advantages in competing head-on. "It’s been our take that [long-form Yelp reviews] aren’t particularly valuable," says Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley. "It's better to have short, actionable bits of content that feel more similar to tweets because they are easier to consume on mobile. As a mobile-first company, you don’t want to read five paragraphs of a review."

And app of the people, by the people, for the people. . .

So just like when it debuted at South by Southwest Interactive in 2009 (one year after it was hatched), Foursquare again plays the role of the disrupter seemingly having the momentum to conduct a complete reboot. However, the best question to ask at this juncture which was probably most aptly put by Christopher Heine at Adweek, “Will the mojo last?“  — or are its users experiencing the proverbial seven-year itch -- losing interest and choosing to part ways, once and for all? Your thoughts, readers?