Foursquare developers announced Wednesday that they will roll out a new software update that will serve to refocus the popular service as an index of stores, restaurants and other businesses.
The new Foursquare will actually be two incarnations of the app that customers are used to. One half is the Swarm app, which allows friends to post their location and check in to various businesses. Also scheduled for release in just a few weeks is Foursquare 8.0, a complete redesign that includes a new color scheme and completely different logo than the one Foursquare users are used to.
Swarm was unveiled on May 1, but the company provided a glimpse into Foursquare 8.0 in a blog post Wednesday, making it clear that each person’s app will cater specifically to that individual. The most exciting part of the update, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley told the Verge, is that the tens of millions of users who liked the “check in” feature can still do so, although they can also take advantage of the concept that Yelp has made so popular.
“Listen, the point of the company, this whole thing, was never to build an awesome check-in button,” he said. “That’s not the thing we got out of bed and said, that we wanted to build the most awesome check-in button in the world,” which led to the company asking, “What does a version of Foursquare look like that doesn’t beg you to check in as soon as you up it up?”
It wasn’t difficult to answer that question, with Jon Steinbeck, Foursquare’s vice president of product experience, explaining to the Verge that Twitter and Facebook overwhelm users by jamming too many options into a single app package.
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“The more we played with the idea we realized that there was a ton we wanted to do on both sides that we can’t do if they are married together,” he said. “We were born in mobile but we were born in this idea that each mobile app was kind of like a web property bundled up for mobile. And as mobile usage has broadened and evolved you get individual experiences instead. You open an app to do a specific task and not as a gateway to a large complicated experience.”