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Foursquare splinters service into two stand-alone apps

The company for long has been attempting to brand itself as more than just a check-in app and promote how it helps users find great places to go to.
By Ananth Baliga   |   May 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- Foursquare is splitting its service into two apps, one with its check-in feature called Swarm and a new Foursquare app that will help users find new places.

The company has long been attempting to show that it is more than just a check-in app, and says that people use the app to either meet their friends or discover new restaurants, bars and places to go. But rarely do users do both at the same time, which is why splitting the two functionalities into their own standalone apps made sense.

"In the near future, the Foursquare app is going to go through a metamorphosis," the company wrote in a blog post. "An app should be able answer questions like 'give me a great date dinner spot' and not just 'tell me the nearest gas station.' We're right now putting the final touches on this new, discovery-focused version of Foursquare."

Swarm will help users to find where their friends are and at the same time let users broadcast what they are doing -- with the company promising this feature will be faster and easier than the old Foursquare app.

"When people install the Swarm app, Foursquare 7 will receive an update to focus on local search," a Foursquare spokesman told PCMag.

Swarm will arrive within weeks on iOS and Android, and then later on Windows Phone. The revamped Foursquare app will be released later this summer.

Foursquare has been struggling to find a sustainable business model. It entered into a deal with Microsoft, where Bing search would use its data in exchange for a $15 million investment. The company raised $35 million in December, valuing the company at $650 million, during a round of fundraising. Foursquare also dabbles in e-commerce providing personalized coupons or instant notifications of deals when passing by certain stores.

Foursquare's latest move is indicative of the app industry, where big companies are increasingly preferring to unbundle their apps into standalone services. Facebook has been the frontrunner, unbundling its messaging service and launching a host of other apps to deal with the different needs of its users.

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
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