When foursquare launched their expertise badges a few weeks ago, the rules for some of the older badges changed. Pizzaiolo, for instance, no longer requires 20 different pizza places since it now follows the same rules as the other expertise badges. This left many users at a point where they had more checkins than were required for the badges under the new rules. Those badges would then unlock the next time they checked in at one of the required venues.
At some point yesterday, foursquare retroactively awarded all those badges where users had completed the new requirements without them having to check in again. The badges simply showed up in users’ trophy cases unannounced.
Badges aren’t the reason I use foursquare, but they are fun to unlock occasionally, so I’m really disappointed in the way this was handled by foursquare. The fun of badges isn’t having them sitting around in your trophy case, it’s the surprise of “You’ve just unlocked the [insert badge name here] badge!”
I was looking forward to unlocking my Pizzaiolo and Zoetrope badges this weekend, but now that they’ve already appeared in my trophy case, the excitement is gone. While I’m sure there was some confusion amongst users about why they hadn’t received the badges yet, the way way foursquare went about this was all wrong. I would have preferred that foursquare leave the process as it was, but, at the very least, foursquare should have notified users that the badges had been awarded instead of just leaving them to find them on their own.
What do you think? Did foursquare make the right move or should they have just left things the way they were?