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Foursquare announces Swarm a standalone app to find your friends

Swarm is a new app that distils the ‘finding friends’ aspect of Foursquare into a standalone service. Will you check in?

If you’re a successful brand with millions of users sporting your app on their phones, to break it apart and rebuild it from the ground up seems like a pretty terrifying prospect. Despite the risk of ultimately altering the experience that drew people to it to begin with, that’s exactly what Foursquare has done and what’s led to the arrival of the company’s new app, Swarm.

Swarm logo

As reported extensively by The Verge, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley recently conceded that the company was having trouble keeping its audience enamoured with the idea of the ‘check in’ and recent internal research has revealed that just 5 per cent of users clock into the app to both find a place to go nearby and see if any of their friends are in the area in a single session.

Up until this point, Foursquare has served users in two key ways and for the most part, these functions have remained pretty exclusive, leading to the development of Swarm. Crowley and the team are in the process of cutting the current Foursquare experience in half, whilst at the same time, doing away with the check in button altogether.

As the way we use mobile phones has evolved, companies have seen a need to split up services into standalone apps to offer up a more tailored experience. Facebook recently spliced off its Messenger app on mobile and now Foursquare is doing the same.

Swarm is one part of the puzzle, whilst the Foursquare mobile app is in the midst of a redesign all its own. It’ll become a true rival to the likes of Yelp, focusing solely on recommendations in your area, whilst Swarm will be a means of broadcasting your general location to friends. We say ‘general’ as unlike the iOS Find My Friends application, you won’t have to broadcast your exact location, rather just a general area, letting you and your friends see who’s around, without sneaking up on them.

Whilst we’re itching to try the new Swarm and Foursquare apps out now, they’re a little way from rearing their heads in the iOS and Android app stores.

What do you think about splitting up Foursquare’s main feature set in this way? Let us know in the comments.

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