In a time when many other services are merging, Foursqaure is splitting up. The company has announced they are pulling themselves apart, and creating a service called Swarm. Swarm will act as a new messaging service, aimed at getting you together with friends where, hopefully, you use Foursquare to check in to wherever you end up going.
Foursquare says they built Swarm “because you’ve told us how often you still have to text your friends: “where are you?” and “what you up to later?” We wanted to build a quick way for you to know these two things for all of your friends.” Foursquare goes on to note we can see which friends are nearby, and share your location. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Facebook recently made a similar move, but Foursquare isn’t done there.
The company says they’re putting final touches on their app proper, which will now give you feedback on restaurants based on which of your friends has been there/recommended it. “We believe local search should be personalized to your tastes and informed by the people you trust. The opinions of actual experts should matter, not just strangers. An app should be able answer questions like ‘give me a great date dinner spot’ and not just ‘tell me the nearest gas station” says Foursquare, noting the feature will be available later this summer.
The update for Foursquare is a bit of a challenge to Yelp (naturally so), aiming to give better recommendations and feedback on places to go. Swarm is a neat way to meet up with friends, but also a provocation to Facebook’s recent announcement they will essentially do the same thing with "Nearby Friends". Neither Foursquare feature is ready just yet, but both will be coming over the next few weeks or months. If you’re anxious for Swarm, you can sign-up to be notified when it is ready.