Checking Out of “Checking In”
What makes a place? There are a handful of apps out there that will tell you when you’re physically in a place, and allow you to earn points, stickers and even become mayor of that place when you check in. But what are the real benefits of checking into a place via an app on your phone?
I think it can be really beneficial when people leave honest reviews or tips at businesses to help you when you’re visiting for the first time. When I go to a restaurant for the first time I’ll usually open Foursquare, Yelp or Loupe to read about what other customers liked or disliked. Tips like “No corkage fee!” or “Ask for the double-secret probation dish as it’s not on the menu” are awesome bits of information to find out as you’d likely need to be a regular to know out about them.
But do you really need to tell people when you check into the post office? Foursquare removed the check-in process from their app a couple of years ago and built a standalone app called Swarm that allows you to check into any and all places around you and turn that process into a game. You could add “My Bathroom” as a place and check into it every time you need to relieve yourself. You could become mayor of your bathroom with Swarm but I have to ask, what’s the point?
Let’s keep the check-in process as informative and useful as possible. Let’s skip the bathroom check-ins and give everyone as much useful information about the spaces we share as possible.