Swarm: Foursquare’s New Social Heatmap

swarm app

Chat and video calling have become important forces. And now, so has local search, including in the small business world.

A newly reinvented Foursquare wants to be a part of that trend with a new app called Swarm. The Swarm app keeps track of your network and lets you know when your connections are in the area too.

Swarm is interesting not only as a new social trend but for its business applications too. For example, what if you want to have an impromptu meetup with clients, customers, partners or other connections? Swarm would be perfect for face-to-face networking, since it would tell you which of your contacts are in your general area (assuming they also use the Swarm app). You can then text them and arrange to meet.

In a post on the official Foursquare blog, the company explains:

“We built Swarm because you’ve told us how often you still have to text your friends: “where are you?” and “what are you up to later? We wanted to build a quick way for you to know these two things for all of your friends. With Swarm, you can easily see which of your friends are out nearby, figure out who is up for grabbing a drink later, and share what you’re up to”

swarm app

Swarm redefines the check-in feature that made the original Foursquare so popular, and creates what The Verge calls “a heatmap” of social activity in your network.

Foursquare has broken up its existing app into two parts. On the one side, Swarm will provide a new way to keep track of people in your network. On the other, a completely new Foursquare app, without check-in feature, will compete with review sites like Yelp giving customers the chance to offer feedback on local businesses.

Neither Swarm nor the new Foursquare are yet available. The new Foursquare is due out this summer, according to The Next Web. But the company Swarm will be out “in the coming weeks.” In the meantime, you can go to Swarm and sign up for more information.

Images: Swarm, Wired


Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of MakeUseOf.com.

5 Reactions
  1. I wasn’t surprised when they dropped the check-in function. Without businesses offering stuff to customers or mayors there just wasn’t any incentive to check in anywhere.

    However, I think they’re in for a tough time with this Swarm idea because people are skittish about giving up their location to other users with the privacy concerns that exist.

    • Robert, what are you talking about? The check in function still exists. And people wouldn’t be giving up their location more than they already are. You check into a place, that’s it. You won’t be tracked by the app or anything like that.

  2. Will the check-in function be something people can switch in and out of if they choose?

    • I’m pretty sure it will be, Ebele. Having people stuck in the app, and not able to get out, wouldn’t be popular.