Things have been quiet recently at social location app Foursquare, but now we know why: the company is launching a second app called Swarm, and splitting its functionality in two. Swarm will focus on the social aspects of Foursquare, helping people to check in at public venues and find their friends. Meanwhile, the main Foursquare app is ditching check-ins, in favour of pure exploration and discovery: essentially a local-search / city-guide app for smartphones. “We realised that there was a ton we wanted to do on both sides that we can’t do if they are married together,” Foursquare’s Jon Steinback tells The Verge. “It’s like we were in a three legged race and each side was slowing the other side down.” Board member Bijan Sabet puts it a different way, suggesting that the prominence of Foursquare’s check-in button was putting off mainstream users. “Imagine if you opened up YouTube and the first thing it asked you to do was create a video. That would scare off a lot of people…”

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