Feature Friday: Checking In

For the past three months, I have been checking in to locations with a different app than Foursquare. Yesterday, that app launched publicly. It is called Swarm and it’s pretty awesome.

Swarm is all about checking in and knowing where your friends are. This is the thing I love most about Foursquare. But it turns out that many people don’t want to do this. So Foursquare is removing this feature and all the stuff around it from the Foursquare app and has put it into a new app.

As Foursquare becomes more about search and discovering places, the checkin features got buried deeper and deeper in that app. It became harder to checkin and the value from checking in was less front and center.

Swarm changes all of that. Checking in and following friends around the city and around the world is the sole purpose of the Swarm app.

Swarm is fast, Swarm is simple, Swarm is smart. If you are like me and love to checkin and share where you are with your friends, check it out.

Swarm and Foursquare also represents a new trend in mobile apps. I have been calling this trend App Constellations. Facebook now has a collection of mobile apps that share a single login and have app to app linking built in. Google has a collection of mobile apps that share a single login and have app to app linking built in. Twitter seems headed in this direction with Vine. And Dropbox also seems headed in this direction too. Now we can add Foursquare to this group.

Putting a ton of functionality into a single app is not the right way to do it on mobile. Having a constellation of mobile apps that all work tightly with each other seems to be the better way. And the leading mobile app companies are all headed in that direction now. Pay attention to this trend.