Foursquare has broken its location-based service up into two separate apps: Foursquare, which will became a local search app, and Swarm.
Swarm enables users to see which of their contacts are nearby and share what they're currently up to via the company's trademark check-in feature. Because the app is only for these very specific use cases, Foursquare promises it will be faster and easier to use.
The Foursquare app, meanwhile, will refocus on Yelp-style local search, personalised to the user's tastes and leveraging opinions from their friends and experts. Foursquare's announcement says it wants an app that can "answer questions like ‘give me a great date dinner spot’ and not just ‘tell me the nearest gas station’."
It's a brave reinvention from Foursquare, as the functionality most associated with its name, the check-in, is being moved into a separately branded app, but it seems that the company is in need of a serious reinvention. Only time will tell whether this gamble will pay off.
Swarm is launching on iOS and Android in 'the coming weeks', with a Windows Phone launch also in the pipeline. The new Foursquare will follow 'later this summer'.