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Lifelogging

Swarm recently released version 5.0 of its mobile app. Blog post here. Instead of gamification (leaderboards and so on), the emphasis is now on lifelogging – a more personal collection of all the places you’ve been.

Here’s what that looks like:

The most notable change is a front and center map that shows you all of your check-ins. You can also zoom in and really explore where you’ve been, geographically. Swarm refers to it as a “virtual memory book.”

Lifelogging is absolutely the main reason why I use Swarm and why it still finds itself on my home screen. One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is that it’s a public diary. Swarm is a modified version of that for me. So this change feels right.

My other Swarm use cases are being able to share check-ins to Twitter and serendipitous encounters with friends.

But the more I use Swarm the more I think that divorcing this use case from Foursquare (this happened in 2014) was a mistake. If Swarm is now about lifelogging (instead of just playful check-ins) and if Foursquare is about finding the perfect place to go out, then why not merge these experiences? 

Tell me where I should be going, let me make lists of places I want to go, and then let me log it to my diary along with tips for other people.

At the time of the divorce, the data seemed to suggest that very few people did both of these things within the consolidated app. People either checked-in or they looked for a place to go. Rarely did they do both.

Perhaps that would be different with lifelogging.

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