Social media apps Snapchat and Foursquare get key upgrades

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by BRIAN M. WESTBROOK / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Updated Friday, May 2 at 11:12 AM

Do you know where you are?

Foursquare, a leading mobile "check-in" app that allows you to tell your friends which restaurant you are at, sure does. The popular service is now being split into two separate apps.

The original Foursquare, an app that took South By Southwest by storm in 2009, will become something of a Yelp-competitor giving you reviews and recommendations for nearby businesses. A new app, meanwhile, called "Swarm" will assume Foursquare's signature "check-in" ability.
Facebook announced plays for a similar "Nearby Friends" feature a few weeks ago.

The move is expected to help Foursquare boost ad revenue. "Checking in" might be fun, but it's actually about a platform to serve you ads. As they say, it's all about the money.

In other app upgrades, Snapchat, the disappearing photo-sharing app, added two new features. Users can now interact with real-time video chat with their friends. This feature competes with Microsoft's Skype, Google's Hangouts, and Apple's Facetime service -- just to name a few. Snapchat, popular among teens, also added a real-time chat option.

The Snapchat enhancement will compete plenty of alternatives, among them, of course WhatsApp which was recently purchased by Facebook.

Both Foursquare's Swarm and the upgraded Snapchat will be available in your smartphone's respective app stores soon.

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