I’ve always been a big fan of Foursquare. I like to check-in to places to learn more about what they have to offer, like popular items on a restaurant menu. Until today, I’ve also used it to see when friends are close by. Now, Foursquare is officially rolling out its new Swarm app on Android and iOS that replaces some of what Foursquare used to do.
Essentially, Swarm takes out the “check-in” part of Foursquare and now offers that standalone functionality in its own app. You can use it to check in and add different stickers to your profile to show how you’re feeling or what you’re up to. You’ll still get alerts from friends who check-in nearby, and you can still see what people are up to in varying distances from where you are.
Foursquare, the company behind Swarm not the app itself, says that badges for things like going to a restaurant 10x or checking out 20 new airports, will still be an important part of the app. Instead of competing with everyone for mayorships, however, you’ll just compete against your friends.
So what happens to the old Foursquare? It’s operating as a hobbled version of what it once was, though Mayorships have since been pulled. Later this summer, a new app will be released that focuses on local discovery, still carrying the Foursquare name. It won’t have the check-ins, however – that’s for Swarm now. It’s kind of confusing, and hopefully this doesn’t backfire in Foursquare’s face. What happens to the millions of users who don’t know about the changes? Are they just going to stumble upon Swarm by chance? It seems more likely they’ll think Foursquare is broken.
I just installed Swarm on iOS, though, and it’s familiar and relatively easy to use, just like Foursquare was, but I kind of liked having everything in one place, so it’s definitely going to take some getting used to. You’ll also find it in the Google Play Store.