Overhaul time: Foursquare to move the check-in feature to a new app, called Swarm

If you have ever used the Foursquare app, then you are familiar with one of its most prominent features – the signature check-in button, the backbone of the service that allows you to publicly announce your present whereabouts. Foursquare addicts would probably find it hard to imagine the mobile app without that prominent feature, but it seems that they'll need to do so pretty soon, as the developer team behind Foursquare is ditching the check-in feature along with some of its social aspects.
But don't worry, these are not gone forever – they will make their way to a brand new app, called Swarm, which is somewhat similar to Facebook's Nearby Friends feature. Swarm will receive a big portion of Foursquare's social traits, as it will allow users to check in, connect with their friends, and see if any of them are currently nearby. One of the key aspects of the app is that it won't reveal your exact location – it will only show that you are somewhere in a given area and won't give away your current whereabouts.

This rather drastic change was announced by Foursquare's CEO, Dennis Crowley, who claimed that most users either want to find interesting venues nearby or see where their friends are and what they are doing. However, they seldom did the two things simultaneously – apparently, only 5% of all user sessions had “both social and discovery”. At the same time, the check-in button that obtrusively shows up whenever you open the app prevented users from further engaging with Foursquare, making it unnecessarily complicated. These are the main reasons for the upcoming complete overhaul of the location-centric service, which started roughly half a year ago.

Crowley also revealed that Foursquare is currently being rewritten from scratch in order to focus on local discovery and exploration. This way, the app will provide its users with even better recommendations about adjacent points of interest. What's more, the CEO reveals that thanks to its location-guessing engine, dubbed Pilgrim, Foursquare does not need your check-in – it uses various methods to pinpoint your location. This, combined with the impressive database of roughly 60 million points of interest, will enable Foursquare to give you better recommendations of nearby venues that might catch your attention even if you don't check in anymore.

Swarm will be released in the coming weeks for both iOS and Android (a Windows Phone version is in the works, too), while the completely transformed Foursquare app will see the light of day this summer. It is stated that both apps will work seamlessly together, just like Facebook's mobile app and Facebook Messenger.

How do you feel about Foursquare separating two of its most prominent features into a duo of different apps - yay or nay? Share your thoughts on the matter below!

source: The Verge via Foursquare

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