Foursquare chose to go the route of splitting its app in two, and so far this plan is not going down well with users of the traditional Foursquare app. The check-in aspect of Foursquare has been made available in a second app called Swarm, and after releasing first on Android and iOS, the app is now available on the Windows Phone platform.
One thing we've come to notice from the Swarm app is that it is almost totally different when compared to the original Foursquare app. Checking in no longer come across as playing a game, and we envision some users may not be feeling pleased by this move. We're all for it though, as it makes check-ins feel more important than aiming to gain badges and to become mayor.
Swarm comes along with a new feature called Neighborhood Sharing that offers up vague information about the location of friends nearby. The new feature will share information about friends who are within 500 feet or 1 mile, along with information regarding to specific check-ins from friends.
The idea of merging both active and passive information sharing, can be seen as a great way to set up real social planning. However, Swarm in its current form is just a sibling in the app arena, and it will have to do so much more to get fans of the traditional Foursquare back onboard the check-in train.
As it stands right now, many loyal fans of the traditional Foursquare experience misses the entertainment aspect that gives the feeling of playing a game. Swarm does almost nothing to bring this feeling back, and it appears the developers might have little say in the matter.
We're not certain how many users are interested in using two apps since they could have used a single app to do the same things in the past. While the Swarm app does come preloaded with some cool features to get old and new users excited, doing this alone won't be enough.
Users will need a way to seamlessly switch between Swarm and the modern Foursquare app without hiccups, for that might be the only way this new idea may have a chance of taking off.