Empires crumble and the sands of time sweep all away. And so it is that Foursquare is freezing all of its current mayorships and eliminating ousting, starting today. This means you may never get to hold Brenda H.'s throne atop your local laundromat.
Big changes are afoot. The news comes as Foursquare—a company still searching for its identity—gears up to split its core services with the introduction of Swarm next week.
What is it? Swarm is a new location-sharing spin-off app for iOS and Android that tells your friends where you are; the main Foursquare app will be rededicated to local recommendations, similar to Yelp.
When Swarm is introduced, it will include a new feature called Mayors 2.0, which Foursquare bills as "a fun way to compete with your friends instead of all 50,000,000 people who are on Foursquare." As Foursquare puts it:
With these new mayorships, if you and a couple friends have been checking in to a place, the person who has been there the most lately gets a crown sticker. So you and your friends can compete for the mayorship of your favorite bar, without having to worry about the guy who is there every. single. day. Mayors 2.0 means that places can have many different mayors, one for each circle of friends, instead of just a single mayor at each place.
So, if you're already the mayor of a place, you'll still be mayor among your friends when Swarm hits the App Store and Google Play; you'll just be sharing the honor with a bunch of other strangers. ("That's not the same!" you're probably thinking. And you'd be correct.)
Still, you can take solace in the fact that all your "hard-earned badges" will be preserved for safekeeping in what Foursquare is calling a trophy case, to be checked maybe once many years down the line, and then forgotten.