If you turn Foursquare's new logo upside down and squint, it looks like... actually, not much of anything. For which Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley is probably very grateful, given the recent flurry of silliness surrounding the design of airbnb's new logo, which was also recently rolled out (shown below). The new versions of both do have in common a move away from a dated thick outline, leaving Skype as one of the last to retain this approach.
The redesigns of both Foursquare and airbnb are tied to attempts by both firms to increase engagement with their users. airbnb's new logo, dubbed the Bélo, is seen as a universal "symbol of belonging," since we're all apparently "yearning to belong," as the clip below would have us believe. Be that as it may, the symbol was designed to be remixed by its airbnb's community of hosts, which the following infographic indicates has apparently been the case. The personalization aspect is a perfect fit for the firm's claim of providing unique experiences, which it's trying to establish as its brand. So you'd have to say that the new identity for airbnb is a success.
It's too soon to say for Foursquare, since the new app won't be released for a few weeks. Although response on its Facebook page is overwhelmingly negative. The new version will apparently move the app further away from its check-in roots and more in the direction of local search, with it providing suggestions based on user interests. Check-in functionality has been moved to a separate app, Swarm, which beyond the terrible name has an even worse logo.
While Foursquare's strategy may or may not pay off, the firm has a curious way of describing the thinking behind the new look: "Our logo is changing from the check-in checkmark to something representing the new Foursquare. We designed it to be a mix of map pin and superhero emblem. We’ve always thought of Foursquare as giving you superpowers to explore your city, and our new logo reflects that vision." Pin, sure, but I'm not seeing the superhero thing. Sounds like something they made up afterwards. Not that there's anything wrong with that.