Foursquare unveils its elegant, drastically different design. But is it too late?

Foursquare's new home screen

Today Foursquare unveiled the look and feel of the new Foursquare app.

The redesign is a huge product shift, proving that the app is far more than just “old Foursquare minus the check-ins.” It’s all out warfare on Yelp and other local discovery engines. But Foursquare may have to fight an uphill battle to convince consumers to give the app another shot. Its brand until now was about check-ins, despite the fact that that was never CEO Dennis Crowley’s intention.

Step one to Foursquare’s rebirth: Out with the old visuals and functionality, in with the new. The design changes to the app are dramatic and leave no trace of the former check-ins.

The new home screen is barely recognizable from the old one. Instead of the old “browse nearby” prompt and list of nearby friends, there’s an exploration bar where users can pick whether they’re looking for “brunch” “coffee” “breakfast” or all manner of other places. It also highlights where you can get your favorite food from each category, a personalization powered by Foursquare’s Pilgrim data engine.

Foursquare's new home screen

Foursquare’s old home screen (left) and new one (right)

The company has ditched its old ball and check mark logo in favor of a cartoonish pink F, like a superhero logo. It represents CEO Dennis Crowley’s new favorite buzzword: Superpowers. Crowley is referring to Foursquare’s ability to make “hypercontextual recommendations” to individuals based on their cuisine preferences, from what meals they should eat at the restaurant in which they’re standing, to where serves the best mac ‘n cheese in SOMA.

The new F logo, akin to Superman’s famous S, represents that recommendation power in Foursquare. The color scheme has also changed, from green to pink, with personal recommendations for a user highlighted in the latter color.

The new Foursquare logo

The new Foursquare logo

The “new Foursquare” is a big moment for the company, either a last breath of a dying app or Foursquare’s big comeback, depending on who you ask. It’s certainly a big bet, one that the company had no choice but to make with stagnant user growth (However it’s worth noting that revenue reportedly grew rapidly in the last few years). Consumers weren’t understanding, no matter how many times Crowley and co repeated it, that Foursquare was about local search not check-ins.

With the new redesign, there’s no denying that narrative now. But are consumers paying enough attention to Foursquare to care?

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