Used to love checking in from where you're at just to be seen, but got tired of it eventually? Foursquare is splitting up, not in four but in two separate services or applications: the new Foursquare app and Swarm.
The announcement came from the company on Thursday in a blog post.
"Our company has always been about helping you keep up and meet up with their friends, and discover great places. Our two new, unbundled apps are designed to do that for everyone," it says.
The revamped Foursquare app will get rid of the popular check-in button and will place its focus on discovery and exploration, providing instead a platform for great local search and local business reviews and recommendations that is similar to Yelp. The company believes that local search should be customized to the tastes of the users and that information should come from people and experts trusted by the user.
Meanwhile, Swarm will exist seamlessly together with the old Foursquare app, providing information faster and easier than the latter.
"With Swarm, you can easily see which of your friends are out nearby, figure out who is up for grabbing a drink later, and share what you're up to (faster and more easily than you can in Foursquare today)," the company says.
Observers say Foursquare might find it difficult to transform its reputation and remain significant among the public, basically because the check-in button is what people keeps coming in to the service. They say the move to remove the popular button is a risk for the company.
The company, however, says it spent time trying to reshape the Foursquare app, until CEO Dennis Crowley ordered the team to break down the app and build new things. They came with various ideas on how the app should look like in 2014 but agreed on one thing, which is that the service should now grow out of its single-app approach.
"The more we played with that idea the more we realized that there was a ton we wanted to do on both sides that we can't do if they are married together," says Jon Steinback, vice president of product experience at Foursquare, to The Verge.
To make it short, the company decided to unbundle or split the service into two, following series of tests that showed the experience was more efficient and focused for the user when there are two platforms instead of just one.
The new Foursquare app will roll out in a month or so as the company is making final touches on the redesigned service. On the other hand, Swarm app will be available in Android and iOS in the weeks to come and to follow suit on Windows Phone. Interested users may sign up here to get first word when the app is finally up on service.