Foursquare had its golden age , no doubt about it, but it was a long time ago. Other social networks imitated the idea of check-in and took advantage of it economically by integrating that location into their own content format that users can publish. And that caused Foursquare, even after its restart as Swarm, to have a good drop in active users.
But your developers don’t give up. Recently, the fifth version of Swarm was released, which gives another twist to the user experience to see if it can catch the attention of all those users who once had no hesitation in checking in everywhere.
Profile, locations, map, categories. Swarm 5 has reduced the profiles and options to what you really want to know about this application.
In its fifth version, Swarm has decided to simplify everything . To reduce all the experience and all the options that were previously available to the program to the simple action of doing the check-in , see a history of the check-ins you have done and see what your friends have done. That’s it, there’s nothing else. If you want to keep listening to recommendations or looking for interesting places to eat or play, you have to use the Foursquare application.
This change has made the main screen of Swarm 5 a history of the sites you’ve been to, focusing on precisely that which I prefer. When all the social networks are already using our location for the content you upload and Swarm has become absurd, the focus has to shift to a simple application that checks where you’ve been.
A lot of information that appears after a check-in is not essential, but that is precisely what Swarm lives by.
The idea is to get a value for each check-in . This is useful, for example, when we want to remember the itinerary for a trip. Or to see the trip that a friend has taken by checking each location where he has checked in , or simply to consult the restaurants that he frequents to try them out.
The problem I see with this approach, however, is that something like this can be done on any other social network. You can say where you are as often as you like on Facebook, through a Twitter tweet, or through photos and videos on Instagram. You could say they are check-ins with add-ons. What other applications use secondarily and successfully, Swarm has as its main element.
So the challenge for Swarm is to get that simple check-in and its social network focused on those places you say you are. To do this it retains something that I personally don’t like very much, which is all the gamification based on coins and points that encourage you to use the application more. When you do a check-in there is a mostly unnecessary cascade of information:
Thanks but no, Swarm. I want to check in, not collect virtual hams.
Another disadvantage of Swarm 5 is that it is one of those applications that wants to record your location at all times , something that consumes a lot of battery power and that in terms of privacy is quite debatable. Not to mention that if you turn on notifications, the amount of warnings it shows you to visit sites is annoying.
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The business model of Swarm 5 is also simple: some advertising is shown after making a check-in (and it must be said that this advertising is not at all annoying, it is very well placed strategically), and our data in the form of locations can be very useful for these advertising companies.
If you want to remember and catalogue locations, Swarm is one of the best options you have today. But its use is very focused on that and nothing else
But is there anything that could justify continuing to use Swarm? Yes, and it is the same thing that weakens it against the rest of social networks: the very check-in . If you are one of those who have been using them for years, Swarm is your social network without a doubt. And if you’re one of those who used Foursquare intensively years ago, all the history and data from those years is still there.
It seems like a pointless thing to do, but it’s not: being able to remember those places you’ve been to a long time ago can bring out your nostalgic side and encourage you to keep cataloguing the places you go to. That data from Foursquare’s golden age can be a good reason to encourage everyone who stopped checking in in favor of using other social networks.
In conclusion, there are two ways of looking at Swarm: as a network that is refocusing once again on trying to survive or as the network that you used before and that is still alive for you to keep a ‘logbook’ of the sites you visit and have liked. You can forget about it or you can give it a new chance, both decisions are completely valid .