With Swarm, Foursquare goes full circle with its gamification mechanics

Swarm, a mobile app that continues the original Foursquare application of past fame, is a social check-in app. Foursquare was well known for its pioneering use of gamification, yet the initial launch of swarm omitted most of the gamification elements that had made Foursquare famous in the first place. Now, the new release of Swarm brings back a lot of the gamification fun that the original Foursquare once had. As I wrote several months ago, Foursquare is a great case study to try and understand what works and what doesn’t in enterprise gamification design, and to understand the strengths and weaknesses of points, badges and leaderboards.

When Foursquare started out in 2009, gamification was a big part of its success. Users could get points for checking in some location, earn badges, and even achieve mayor status if they checked into a certain venue on more days than anyone else in the past 60 days. With time, social networks caught up with location based check-ins and Foursquare’s popularity began to decline.

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