Foursquare unbundling check-in to new app, changing focus

Screenshot of Swarmapp.com
Screenshot of Swarmapp.com

The location-based company Foursquare is building a new app by unbundling some of the of their current app features.

In a blog post from the company, Foursquare explains that they see their app having two distinct uses: a social media platform to connect with friends, and a discovery tool for people to find places they want to explore.

The company believes that having the two uses as separate apps will allow them to better focus on the needs of users of those specific features.

Foursquare will be for discovery and the new app called Swarm for social networking.

We built Swarm because you’ve told us how often you still have to text your friends: “where are you?” and “what are you up to later?”

The Foursquare app will lose its “check-in” feature to become a local search tool with reviews from other users and experts.

We believe local search should be personalized to your tastes and informed by the people you trust. The opinions of actual experts should matter, not just strangers. An app should be able answer questions like ‘give me a great date dinner spot’ and not just ‘tell me the nearest gas station.’

From the post, it appears the app will be similar to Yelp. Although Yelp does have a check-in feature it added in 2010.

Unbundling an app’s features into new separate apps isn’t something new. Just last month, Facebook announced they were removing their messaging features from the main app and forcing users to use their Messenger app.

The strategy allows creating a new following and focus on the unbundled feature set at the risk of alienating users that saw the features as being integrated.

Foursquare was created in 2009 along with Gowalla, a company that was bought by Facebook and has since been shuttered.

The larger social media companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter also have check-in features integrated into their products.

If you are interested in Swarm, Foursquare has set up a site that will send you email when the app is ready: https://www.swarmapp.com/

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