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.
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Checking in and checking out: what Foursquare’s evolution can teach us about Enterprise Gamification
In 2009, Foursquare launched a location based social network that allowed you to “check-in” at various venues, turning “life into a game”. The service was initially limited to certain metro areas, but after it opened, it reached 10 million users, which enabled the company to raise $ 50 M in 2011 at a valuation of $ 600 M. Foursquare was a hit.
One of the core drivers behind the craze to check-in using Foursquare and not competing services was Foursquare’s use of gamification.