Swarm Brings Back Mayors

Mayorships. Enthusiastic users of the old foursquare likely feel a little pull at the heartstrings when they hear the word, given that the title was totally removed from both the new Foursquare and Swarm when the company split the app into two.

But fret no longer, former mayors. Today, Swarm is updating the app to reinstate mayorships, as was promised earlier this summer.

That means that users are not just competing against themselves for stickers, but are also competing against the entire Swarm network to be the mayor of various local establishments.

Now, when you open the app, you will see a separate tab within the Sticker Book page, designated by a crown. If you click into the crown, you’ll be able to see all the establishments of which you are the Mayor.

Swarm has been counting your check-ins for the past few weeks (with regards to mayorships), so as soon as users update the app they should be able to see places where they’ve already won the Mayor title.

The rules are as follows: Mayorships are calculated on a 30-day rolling basis and the app will only count one check-in per day at a restaurant, store, or otherwise. In other words, you can’t just check in to TechCrunch HQ repeatedly in a single day to dethrone the current mayor.

Swarm is also using a progress bar, similar to the one you may have seen with the launch of the updated Sticker Book, that will tell you how many check-ins you need to take over as Mayor.

This also means that friend-based Mayorships (which have existed on Swarm from the beginning) are being removed from the app. You are now either competing against yourself or against the entire Swarm network, with future updates that will provide a gamified experience around your actual friend network.

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All in all, this is a relatively important update for Swarm.

Mayorships were one of the biggest pulls for many of the old foursquare users, who not only loved finding cool spots on foursquare but also loved competing to be the most ‘regular’ person at any one establishment.

When Foursquare split into two apps — Foursquare for recommendations and Swarm for check-ins — Swarm launched with nary a hint of Mayorships. Instead, it was meant to be more of a location-based social network, where friends could show each other their locations and communicate via messages.

In the past couple months, however, Swarm has begun to re-integrate games into the app. The first phase of that came when the app launched an updated Sticker Book, asking users to compete against themselves to collect up to 100 stickers. These stickers might be unlocked for checking in to a certain type of place, checking in to many places in a short time frame, or using a certain word in their check-in.

The idea is that unlocking a sticker should be something mysterious and delightful, and the update to version 2.3 from early May achieved that. And in fact, the company is continuing to build out the sticker book.

With today’s launch, the gamification of Swarm comes into clearer focus. Mayorships were a staple of the old foursquare’s game mechanics, and bringing that back should infuse a little nostalgia into the new, and comparatively lesser known, Swarm app.