Foursquare Spilts, Swarm Take The Check-In

When Foursquare first announced that it was splitting the app in two, the move surprised many. Even the Co-Founder & CEO, Dennis Crowley admitted to thinking that the move was crazy, at first.

Swarm, Foursquare’s latest offering is the company’s passionate move to separate the social and discovery aspect of the original Foursquare and it is but one part of Foursquare’s future plans, and the original app won’t be replaced by Swarm.

The “checking in” function has moved to Swarm, but you can still check in on the original Foursquare until the migration to Swarm is complete and the full update is realised. While significant changes have been made to Swarm, the experience is still very much the same. The checking in mechanics are still pretty much the same on Swarm, as the original Foursquare – with one exception.

Instead of pulling up a list of nearby locations, Swarm defaults to the nearest locations. It is tapping on “change location” that will bring up the menu of all nearby locations and the search function. Set your location and then you can be able to add media to your check in, as it was with the original app.

It’s still not yet clear what Foursquare plans to do with what it terms “game mechanics”. That is mayorships, badges and the leader board. In Swarm, Foursquare seems to have moved to stickers over badges. Upon checking in, you have the option of adding a sticker to your avatar for the check-in. Preloaded with 10 stickers, users will be able to unlock more as they check in at more places, similar to the badges of the old app. The “trophy case” will allow users to be able to see badges previously earned, but once the apps have made the switch, users won’t be able to earn any new ones.

Mayorships have been re-incarnated. Rather than competing with millions for a single mayorship, users can now only compete within their friend groups. And, for the first time, locations can have more than one mayor.

Check ins will no longer be awarded points and the leader board has been scrapped. Swarm has come with two new features – Plans and neighbourhood sharing – both aimed at helping users arrange meets with nearby friends.

Swarm is available for iOS and Android, and the company says a Windows Phone version is in the works.

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