Foursquare Splitting Away from Check-Ins
May 8, 2014 Leave a comment
According to a report published by Information Week, Foursquare Labs Inc. has decided to split its app into disparate features, as it no longer makes sense to have a single program. Foursquare, which launched in 2009, is largely known as a social networking tool that allows its users to find restaurants, bars, or other places worth visiting while also connecting with friends and publishing “check-ins” at different locations via social media.
Now Foursquare has announced it will be splitting things up to better focus on different parts of the service. The company has created a new app called Swarm for social networking, which will tell your friends where you are located and help with meeting up. The original Foursquare app will lose its “check-in” feature and instead become a local search tool with reviews from other users, similar to Yelp.
This change to separating apps isn’t new and is becoming more common. Facebook last month announced they would separate its messaging features from the main app, forcing users to use their Messenger app.
“Our intention here is not to rip the Band-Aid off, but to get people into the right usage pattern,” says Jon Steinback, VP of product experience at Foursquare. “We spent a lot of time planning it and built in a lot of time for users to go through that [transition].”
The original Foursquare app won’t change until summer, despite the fact that Swarm should be available within the next few weeks. The end goal is to make Foursquare more intuitive and have users engage in both apps.
“People are used to context shifting on their home screen really readily; it’s a really familiar usage pattern,” says Steinback. “You’re like, ‘this app is for this and this app is for that.’ But [navigating] in an app requires another level of cognitive thought… People might not view the app as having those two purposes.”