Swarm is again letting you go ‘off the grid’ for check-ins, which is about as counterintuitive as it gets for a social service.
With the feature (literally called ‘off the grid check-ins,’ and something that was available before Swarm was branched off from Foursquare), users can check in at various locations as they normally would — but those check-ins won’t apply to mayorship, and friends can’t see your location.
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Not only is the concept of checking in without sharing your location befuddling, but it flies in the face of everything Swarm is supposed to be. When the service began as a forking of Foursquare, it was purposefully to let you continue checking in so friends would know where you were.
With this feature — which is optional, and not turned on by default — Swarm can be as public or private as you like, much like Path. It’s not clear how many were interested in privately checking in, but it’s back.