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Swarm now lets users check in without sharing their location

TechCrunch TechCrunch 21/04/2016 Jordan Crook

Swarm, the gamified check-in app from Foursquare, has today launched a new feature that will let users check in to locations without sharing that location with their group of friends.

The company is calling these private check-ins ‘off-the-grid check-ins’ and users will be able to activate them through a toggle in the check-in portion of the app.

Foursquare originally launched Swarm as a social utility app that would accompany the new Foursquare, which focused on recommendations as a true Yelp competitor. The idea behind Swarm was that friends could meet up and hang out by sharing their locations, meanwhile recording their whereabouts for later use.

Turns out, folks who loved the old Foursquare (including those that transitioned over to Swarm) loved the recording feature of the check-in just as much (if not more) than the ability to share those check-ins with friends.

Letting users check-in privately to record their favorite spots without blasting the world about where they are makes sense. For one, some people are generally private and may have been holding out on Swarm for that reason. Plus, it gives the extra freedom of use for folks who may not be particularly proud of where they’re hanging out.

That said, Swarm has transitioned over to more of a gamified social platform than a location-sharing utility app, launching Mayorships, the Coin Leaderboard, and a sticker book for users to play against themselves.

As it relates to the game, off-the-grid check-ins won’t count for as many coins as a normal check-in would. Users will only get one coin for each of their private check-ins, which is equivalent to the coins you get for after-the-fact check-ins, where Swarm reminds you of the places you forgot about.

These check-ins do not apply toward mayorships.

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It’s worth noting that the focus on the individual user and their recorded check-ins was foreshadowed by Swarm’s recent launch of updated profile pages. These pages were meant to give a more generalized look at where a user checks in, with options to dive deeper, rather than a chronological list of check-ins without any context.

Alongside the launch of private check-ins, Swarm is also launching an updated friend-finder feature so users can more easily connect with their pals on the app.

You can check out the new Swarm here.

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