Not too long ago, Foursquare announced Swarm, a sister app formed from the splitting of the original Foursquare app. Today, Swarm has rolled out for the USA and we get our first look at the new app.
Swarm takes on the social aspect of the original Foursquare app. It gains the signature ‘check-in’ button that Foursquare popularized and show where your friends have been recently. It still retains the ability to like and comment on check-ins as well with Foursquare contacts migrated over.
Apart from this, Swarm comes with several of its own new features to give it extra functionality. It has a feature called Neighbourhood Sharing, a passive location sharing service that can be toggled to let your friends know which general area you are in without specifics. The specific location is what the check-ins are for. The welcome screen of the new app now sports a social heat map to see which friends are close by. Distances are separated into categories such as right here (within 500 feet), A short walk away (within 1 mile), Nearby (within 5 miles), In the area (within 20 miles) and Far far away (above 20 miles).
Another key feature is the Nearby plans feature. This allows you to send open invitations to meet to friends that are around you, broadcasted through the app. The feature is similar to a Facebook or Twitter status update but with the added element of location. We can expect a lot more user interaction with this particular feature. Stickers have also been introduced to supplement your mood of the day or location you are at. More stickers are unlocked when you visit more places, a system replacing Badges, that is still retained by the new Foursquare app. There is also a new search feature to look up all the places you have been to as well.
Swarm is shaping up to be a rather handy app while still remaining true to its Foursquare roots. We look forward to trying out this app ourselves and seeing what the future holds for it.