Introducing Swarm 6.0 — A social way to discover new places

Lifelogging, now powered by social discovery

Today, we’re launching Swarm 6.0, a significant update to the Swarm experience that makes it easier to lifelog, remember more about the places you go and discover new places based on where your friends have been. This update has been a massive effort from the team over the last several months, and we’re incredibly excited to get this into the hands of our users!

Before getting into the specifics of what’s changed, I wanted to provide some background on why we believe that social discovery is a crucial part of the Swarm product story and experience.

Background

Swarm has always been the best way to remember of all the places you go. Since launching Swarm 5.0 more than a year ago with an increased focus on lifelogging, it’s been incredibly inspiring to hear about all the places our users have taken Swarm — with more than 13 billion check-ins logged, there is hardly a place on Earth our community hasn’t checked in!

At Foursquare, we deeply believe in the value of having a lifelog — it becomes a collection of everywhere you’ve explored, restaurants you loved, experiences with friends, and helps you build your own personal map of the world. But we’ve also uncovered that lifelogging serves as a constant motivator to keep exploring and discovering new places.

Over the past year, we’ve talked to users from all around the world in order to understand how they use Swarm. With increasing frequency, our users are turning to their Swarm friends to learn more about where they go, and using those check-ins as inspiration for places to explore next.

After all, the *best* recommendations in life come from those you’re closest to.

We’ve all been there — whether it’s asking a friend how they liked that new wine bar that just opened, or what places they went on their recent trip to Hawaii so you can plan your trip — getting a recommendation with a stamp of approval from your friend is always more meaningful.

Internally, we’ve been referring to this phenomenon as “social discovery”.

So today we’re taking the wraps off of Swarm 6.0. Simply put, it’s our take on augmenting the ultimate lifelogging experience by making it easier than ever to add more color and detail to your lifelog and learn more about the places your friends love, so that *you too* can one day add them to your personal lifelog.

So what’s changed?

RATINGS AND TIPS

One of the many reasons users love Swarm is that it helps you remember all places you’ve been and lets you instantly rediscover them through search or browsing the map.

To augment this superpower, our users have been asking for a way to remember more specifically what they’ve liked about a place, and an easy way to share tips and recommendations with their friends.

We’ve made it incredibly easy for you to leave a rating and a tip for a place you’ve been — right from your check-in!

Ratings and tips are also visible on our redesigned place pages, so it’s easy for you to recall them at a glance and for your friends to know exactly what to get the next time they visit.

ALL-NEW CHECK-IN AND PLACE PAGES

Our goal with Swarm 6.0 is to make it quick and easy for you to learn more about all the places your friends have been in order to help you decide where to go next.

To do that, we’re introducing redesigned check-in pages, designed to show you more details about your friends’ check-ins *and* make the friend feed even more dynamic. From any check-in page, we’ve made it significantly easier to access place pages where we’ve added helpful information like photos, tips, ratings from your friends and more so that it’s easier than ever to decide whether you want to visit.

SAVED PLACES

With this enhanced ability to learn more about new places your friends have been, we wanted to make it easy to capture all of this inspiration and manage all the places you want to try next.

That’s why we’re so excited to introduce Saved Places into Swarm, alongside a completely rebuilt map. Now when you view a place page, it’s as simple as a tap to remember it for later. Think of it as your “future lifelog.”

With Saved Places you can easily view all the bars, restaurants and parks you’ve been dying to try, all on your check-in map. You can seamlessly toggle between the places you’ve saved and your log of places you’ve already visited, and minimize the list (a big feature request from users!) to see more of your map at a time.

Have a foodie friend who keeps a long to-do list filled with the trendiest new places to try? Well we’ve also made it easy to browse places your friends have saved too! (It’s important to note that we have privacy settings in place that allow you to control whether or not your friends can see your saved and visited maps.)

Best of all, Saved Places in Swarm are fully synced with Foursquare City Guide, so if you use both apps, your lists will always be kept up-to-date.

A note on Foursquare City Guide

Some of you are probably noting the increased overlap between Swarm and Foursquare City Guide. The addition of features like place pages, tips, ratings, and saved places in Swarm is meant to help fuel our users’ lifelogs.

Foursquare Swarm is the ultimate lifelogging tool — an incredible way to remember all the amazing places you’ve discovered through the years. It pushes you to continue to explore new places, and is now augmented with social discovery, a fun way to discover where to go next, inspired by your friends. And with the ability to add your own tips and ratings, it’s the perfect way to add a helpful reminder about that amazing dish you got, while also helping your friends discover something new.

We believe that there are many ways to learn about and explore the world, and these two products are a reflection of what we’ve learned from our community of passionate users about how they like to discover new places.

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We hope you love these changes to Swarm as much as we do. We’ll be rolling this out to all users over the next few weeks. If you haven’t already, download Swarm now on the App Store or Google Play. The new features are available now on Android, and coming to iOS very shortly.

Last but not least, a BIG thank you to all the team members at Foursquare who contributed to making this product update a reality, and a special shoutout to our summer interns who worked on monumental parts of this update!