As we mentioned earlier this month, Foursquare plans to split its mobile app in half as it introduces a new app called Swarm that will soon be the only place to check-in to locations using Foursquare’s service. Foursquare will instead focus its main app on reviews and location discovery and plans to remove check-in functionality later this year. Check-ins, mayorships, location sharing, and other social features will instead be focused in Swarm going forward.

It’s a big move in terms of risking App Store ranking and discoverability as well as branding, but Facebook has practiced a somewhat similar strategy by developing its messaging experience in Facebook Messenger rather than the primary Facebook app where the feature can also be found.

For its part, Foursquare has already announced a number of features users of the previous app have requested that will be available in Swarm including complete check-in history and neighborhood sharing.

Swarm’s description:

Swarm, the new app from Foursquare, is the fastest way to keep up and meet up with your friends. With Swarm, you can easily see who’s out nearby and who wants to hang out later.

- Want to meet up with friends? Quickly open up the app to see who is out nearby. - Want to share what you’re doing? Checking in is faster and more fun than ever. - Got an idea for something fun to do? Easily message all of your nearby friends.

Get started with Swarm now! - A note on battery – We’ve spent years developing the location technology that powers Swarm, making it extremely power efficient. But, as with all apps of this type, please note that continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

The most recent update to the primary Foursquare app mentions the transition as the new version is expected to ship later this summer:

We released Swarm, a new app to help people keep up and meet up with their friends. For people who have installed Swarm, this update to Foursquare includes a peek at some of the upcoming changes to Foursquare. Later this summer, a completely revamped, search-focused experience will be coming to Foursquare.

As promised, that new Swarm app is now available for Foursquare users on the Play Store.

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