If you’re a social butterfly, Foursquare’s new Swarm app for Windows Phone is for you.
The app streamlines the Foursquare social geo-location experience and enhances it so it’s easier to find and connect with friends in the real world.
Say, for example, that you’re at a big music festival. You’re there with friends, but others in your social circle may also be at the shindig. How can you find out?
Swarm shows the physical proximity of friends who are within 500 feet; “a short walk away;” one mile; “nearby;” five miles; “in the area; 20 miles; and “far, far away.” So if your friends have “checked in” on Swarm, you can see if they’re literally within shouting distance.
The app’s colorful, fun and modern design is intuitive, so it’s easy to add a photo and a quick note to your check-in. It’s also simple to ask your friends via Swarm’s planning feature if they want to get together.
The query can be as vague or specific as you want, from “I’m near Café Bleu, up for lunch?” to “I’ll be at Summerfield Cinema for the 1 pm showing of ‘X Men,’ then drinks at Chico’s. Who’s in?” Friends can comment directly in the app or just tap the “I’m interested” button.
Privacy and location-tracking
If you’re concerned about privacy, you can always turn off Swarm’s location-tracking feature. You can then manually share your specific location only when you want to.
And you don’t have to broadcast to the world where you are. You can, for example, let only your friends know that you’ve bellied up to your favorite watering hole three times this week already!
Keep in mind that you need a Foursquare account to use Swarm. If you already use Foursquare on your Lumia or other Windows phone, Swarm will log you in automatically. If not, you can sign up for a new account via email or social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
So why use Swarm if you already have Foursquare? The former is more suited to finding and connecting with friends who are nearby, while the latter is more about discovering new places, such as restaurants, parks and other points of interest.
Swarm may be a useful tool to help you better connect with friends. And because you have a Windows Phone, you can pin the app as a live tile on your home screen for fast access.
If you try out Swarm, let us know what you think!