Foursquare is in the process of spliting its core app into two separate experiences, one that provides recommendations and another that acts as a “social heat map” where users check in and see nearby friends.

Sources say that the new app is called Swarm, and it is not yet available, though according to Dennis Crowley, the app takes a lot of inspiration from the Instant Messenger, where you can see when your friends are online and offline.

Swarm also shows which friends are in the area and opens up the opportunity for a dialog, which is a story we’ve heard from multiple startups but one that hasn’t been tried out by a more mature company like Foursquare.

Foursquare will also be redesigning its core app from the ground up. The biggest surprise is the removal of the check-in altogether, as the new app will focus on discovery and exploration.

When Foursquare launched five years ago, they needed the check-in button to get data around where people were going, when they wanted to share it, or remember it, or rate it. Now, they have all of that data, they don’t need you to check in.

The new Swarm app takes out Foursquare’s vaunted check-in and adds ambient location sharing, something no one has ever expressed any demonstrated interest in, not with many kicks at the can in the form of ambient geosocial apps like Highlight, Circle and many others.

This shows that Foursquare is essentially becoming a direct competitor to Yelp, which is a logical place for it to go.

Neither of the new apps are available just yet, but should be in the coming weeks.

Source: Tech Crunch