For a long time, it’s been obvious that foursquare was adding new core badges with the goal of singling out individuals who were experts at certain things, whether it be hardware stores or diners. Now we know why. Foursquare’s core badges can now “level up,” making them a quick way to show your expertise on pizza places, for instance. To help show expertise in more areas, they’ve also added three new badges.
Each area of expertise follows the same rules (you first have to unlock the underlying badges, though):
- You hit Level 1 for checking in five times to a place in a category, or three unique places.
- Level 2 is for five unique places.
- And from there, every level up is five more unique places, so you get rewarded for exploration!
Foursquare says they’re looking into ways to make it obvious who the experts are when you’re at a sushi place, for instance. That way tips from a level 8 sushi expert, for instance, would carry more weight than those from a sushi beginner.
When you look at one of your own badges, you’ll see what level your friends stand at on that same badge. It’s fun to know that a friend who’s a flight attendant is at level 8 on the Jetsetter badge, while the vast majority of my friends hang out around levels one and two.
There are three new badges introduced as part of the rollout:
- Herbivore honors experts in the vegetarian lifestyle
- Hot Tamale celebrates your love of Mexican food
- Bento separates the sushi experts from those still learning to use chopsticks
These new levels are a great way for foursquare to show â€” in a more visual manner â€” which users are real experts. I’d be much more likely to ask for advice from someone who’s at a higher level than someone who’s just starting. They should also help to eliminate that drop in user engagement as users hit the “badge wall” where they’ve unlocked most of the badges they’re likely to get.