There’s been a lot of buzz from the Foursquare hive as they recently announced plans to unbundle the location-based service into two separate mobile apps – one that provides recommendations and another that acts as a “social heat map”.
The new app, Swarm, will help users find friends nearby and check in to share their location, with the social aspect of the previous app at its core. On the other side, Foursquare will be redesigning its core app from the ground up.
Founder Dennis Crowley told TechCrunch that Swarm takes a lot of inspiration from Instant Messenger, where you can see when your friends are online and offline. Using signals from your phone, including GPS and service strength, Swarm shows where you and your friends are without having to check in, and can reveal the neighborhood you’re in to friends as well.
The biggest surprise is that the new Foursquare will ditch the check-ins all together and focus solely on exploration and discovery, finally positioning itself as a true Yelp-killer in the battle to provide great local search.
Over the past year, Foursquare has struggled with identify – it fought to stay relevant, announced new revenue streams with expanded advertising capabilities, and received funding from big name investors. And with over 45 million registered users, many are still wondering: will this gamble be strong enough for the company to survive?
What the Split means for Brands:
The good news is that there will be little change for brands and businesses using Foursquare. Page management for brands, and brick and mortar locations will remain consistent and the dashboard will stay same. Data on locations serves as the back bone for the two apps, so users will not have to log in to two separate apps and pages will automatically be incorporated into both apps.
In addition to the page management, all advertising products offered will be unchanged as well. Ads will run on both platforms, some will straddle both, some will be unique to either Swarm or Foursquare.
Swarm is scheduled to launch in the next few weeks and the newly redesigned Foursquare will follow.