As a hardcore Foursquare user, I hate to admit it but the service has lost a bit of its mojo with the recent update which split the service into two components – Foursquare and Swarm.The new Foursquare functions similar to Yelp and expands on the service’s previous efforts to focus on local discovery and recommendations. Foursquare continues to deliver on both aspects but now relies on Swarm, its sister app for new location data.

Swarm functions much like the original Foursquare and is faster than its predecessor for check ins. Some of the components migrated over from the original service include the ability to see nearby friends, check in to various locations, and view venue specific info. Added to the service is an increased awareness of your location when you open the app, stickers to represent actions, and similar to Facebook’s recent “Nearby Friends” feature, the ability to broadcast and share your location with friends to increase the chance of impromptu meet-ups.

Core components missing from the new apps include the stat board, badges, points, and Foursquare’s popular Mayorships.

The Foursquare breakup while not perfect isn’t a death sentence for the location service necessarily. It’s likely only the beginning of the next chapter.

As a longtime underdog in the social media world Foursquare has adapted and changed with the times. It has proved it can be resilient and focused on an established vision. All being said however with its increasing age, it runs the risk of losing ground to newer apps on the market. One of the most notable is Move. It was recently acquired by Facebook and tracks movement and location without the need for user driven check ins. Paradoxically, it’s powered by Foursquare for location data.

For now I’m still in, even if it means I can’t be the Mayor of my favorite spots.

jholland-foursquare-infograph (1)