One of the reasons foursquare took off in the first place was because it turned real life into a game. It attracted gamers who loved earning the points and comparing them against their friends on the leaderboard. The limited nature of the points, though, meant interest in the leaderboard faded quickly for the vast majority of users. Foursquare’s new point system is meant to change that by introducing more than 20 new things for which users can earn points.
Just as before, you’ll see your point total for each checkin shown on the checkin confirmation screen. Those points can now come for all sorts of things. Here are a few we’ve seen so far:
- You’re the Mayor! (+3 points)
- VIP! You’re hanging out with the mayor! (+3 points)
- You just became the mayor! (+5 points)
- BFF Bonus: 3 days with Dan this week! (+4 points)
- Every checkin counts! (+1 point)
- You’re creeping on a friend’s mayorship turf! (+2 points)
- You checked in to a place none of your friends have been before! (+2 points)
- First time at New Farm Park! (+3 points)
- Welcome back! You haven’t been here in 3 months! (+2 points)
- That’s 3 days here this week! (+2 points)
- It’s your birthday! (+5 points)
- Your first Korean Restaurant (+1 point)
- Wow, the last time you saw Ted was at The Scratcher 3 months ago! (+4 points)
- 587 miles since your last checkin (+3 points; varies by distance)
- New state (+4 points)
- The Mayor is in the house! (+2 points)
- Welcome! It’s your first checkin in China! (+5 points)
After each checkin you’ll also see a quick rundown of the leaderboard and what this checkin did for your standings. If you’re closing in on a friends’ total or approaching your best week ever foursquare will let you know.
While foursquare 3.0 is only available for iPhone and Android today, it appears that the new points system is available on other platforms. Blackberry users have reported receiving points for new things and mobile web checkins show both your old points and your new points separately.
The leaderboard has been moved out of the hidden spot where foursquare tried to bury it almost a year ago. It’s now front and center on the “Me” tab of the app. You’ll see a scale that shows your current point total over the past seven days, as compared to your highest point total over that period.
Below that you’ll see a snippet of the leaderboard showing how you compare to your closest friends (point-wise). Clicking that opens the full leaderboard, which is now a bona fide part of the app instead of an awkwardÂ web page. It now compares you just to your friends, not your city. You can see how many points each of your friends has and what their highest score has been over the past seven days.
The “Me” tab and friends’ profiles have two new sections as well â€” most explored categories and top places. You’ll be able to quickly see which categories your friends are experts on and the places they’ve visited most. I’m a little depressed to see that I’m apparently an expert on gas stations and fast food restaurants.
The updates to points are very welcome and should make the game part of foursquare much more fun to play. I can’t wait to see what other point bonuses are hiding and waiting to be unlocked.
What do you think about new point system? Will you miss the city leaderboards?