Foursquare is once again reviving a feature from its old check-in app and bringing it to Swarm.
Swarm introduced a new feature Tuesday called Perks, which offers users discounts and other deals at restaurants and businesses in exchange for check-ins.
The concept is similar to the “specials” offered by the original Foursquare app before the company separated check-ins from its main app. Like the Foursquare specials before it, perks are triggered by check-ins and users can earn discounts and other freebies at the restaurants and businesses they visit.
“The sentiment here is what we were trying to capture with the original Foursquare,” Foursquare’s VP of Product J Crowley tells Mashable.
“When you would go to a place and do a check-in and get a free beer, that was a magical experience. We want to recapture that same energy and take away some of the pain points the original Foursquare specials had.”
Chief among those pain points was the lack of a standardized way for users to redeem specials, which sometimes caused confusion for users and businesses alike.
Instead, Perks promises to be a much simpler experience. After you check in at a venue that offers a Perk, the app notifies you that there is an offer, which you can redeem from the app’s inbox. Swarm automatically generates a barcode that can be scanned at checkout, which should eliminate much of the confusion that existed in the previous experience.
Foursquare is also adding another feature to incentivize its check-ins: challenges. Unlike Perks, which are available automatically at check in, challenges are contests that allow users to earn prizes for completing certain goals, like checking in at two ice cream stores in the same week.
Perks and Challenges are just latest steps Foursquare has taken toward bringing back many of the game mechanics that existed in the original Foursquare to its new app, Swarm. Last year the company also brought back
Though many viewed Foursquare’s
“It really affects the entire ecosystem of everything that we do,” Crowley says of check-ins. “It’s the foundation of our business.”