As Foursquare powers through its summer of change, the company is today launching Swarm on the Windows Phone platform.
Swarm is the breakaway app from Foursquare that now houses the beloved check-in. Rather than pairing the use cases of sharing your location with friends and searching for things to do, the company split those experiences into two apps. That said, Swarm is a very different app from the original Foursquare and its gamified check-ins.
Swarm uses a feature called Neighborhood Sharing to offer up passive, relatively vague information about the proximity of your friends. It will share information about who is within 500 ft, a mile, and so on, as well as information around specific check-ins from friends.
The marriage of these forms of information sharing — both passive and active — set up the foundation for a real social planning play, but Swarm is still just an infant in the app world.
There’s a lot of growing to do.
For example, many loyal foursquare users miss the gamification of the check-in, and Swarm does little to replace that besides giving away various “stickers” for different types of check-ins.
However, the app does try to integrate social in a new way from the foursquare of the past, with options to make plans with friends and ping people directly from within the app to hang out.
Still, the pivot is likely a good choice for the company, who had a loyal but small following before and did little to leverage massive troves of data. Swarm, alongside the new Foursquare, offers an interesting step forward in the world of recommendations and location sharing.