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Foursquare gets a divorce: 1 app will become 2 as company splits focus between check-ins and discovery

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday May 01, 2014.

software news · andrew kameka

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Foursquare started as an app to see a friend's location but morphed into an app that shows a friend's location and helps users discover places to eat, dine, and entertain themselves. Foursquare today announced that it plans to separate those two functions into different apps. Soon, Foursquare will be an app that people use to find restaurants, bars, night clubs, shopping centers, and parks. It will be an app solely dedicated to discovering places to visit. Anyone still wishing to check-in to venues or track their friends' movement will have to download a new app called Swarm.

Swarm will introduce a new design for Foursquare a somewhat revised purpose. Rather than show an exact location of someone plotted on a map, it will show the general area that the person visits. Rather than say someone is Joe's Pizza, the app will only say that person is in the Flatiron District of New York City. Foursquare says it's doing this because people don't feel the need to share their exact location but would still be interested to know which neighborhood their friends are currently located. The app will automatically update to show the neighborhood someone visits.

In the coming weeks, the split will become necessary when Swarm debuts for Android and iOS; a Windows Phone app will follow later. Once that happens, the Foursquare app will be updated to add more features for finding locations based on recommendations from friends and experts. It may seem strange that Foursquare would need to remove the check-in aspect to achieve that goal, but the company paints a picture that clouding the app with two core purposes makes it less effective. According to its official blog:

"We built Swarm because you?ve told us how often you still have to text your friends: 'where are you?' and 'what you up to later?' We wanted to build a quick way for you to know these two things for all of your friends. With Swarm, you can easily see which of your friends are out nearby, figure out who is up for grabbing a drink later, and share what you're up to (faster and more easily than you can in Foursquare today)."

Anyone interested in being notified when Swarm debuts can sign-up here.

source: foursquare

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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