Foursquare vs. Swarm: What’s the Difference

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foursquare vs. swarm

For most of the world, social media plays a key part in our everyday lives. We’re constantly checking Facebook and Twitter to see what friends are up to or to update statuses, or logging onto Instagram to upload a photo. We all want to show the world what we’re doing – what we’re wearing, eating, where we are, and who we’re doing it all with. The digital world has created a hub for people to express themselves and essentially show us…well…their lives. But this has also opened the gates for businesses to advertise, and for entrepreneurs to create services that can cater to today’s demands. This is where Foursquare and Swarm come in.

In 2009, the Foursquare, an app that allows people to “check-in” to their current location was launched. Be it a bar, restaurant, or local park, users are able to share their location, using the phones GPS.. The fun feature about this app is that you can see where other friends are and actually check how they rated their experience (200 characters or less) at any given venue. How many tips have you left at various restaurants over the last handful of years.  Maybe the best feature is becoming "mayor" of a joint by having the most check-ins.

Swarm (app) was launched by Foursquare in May of 2014, which fundamentally acts as a sibling app to Foursquare. As Foursquare grew, the founders noticed it would be more and more difficult for a newbie to amass enough check-ins to ever be mayor, and they wanted to level the playing field. As Foursquare focuses on the actual location and information of the venue, Swarm acts as a hub for friends to check in with other friends via social media. Unlike Foursquare, with Swarm users don’t have to “check-in” to show their location. A feature called ‘Neighborhood Sharing’ allows friends to see where other friends are located even if they aren’t checked in. Though, it will never show the exact location when neighborhood sharing is in effect.

There’s no doubt that Swarm is more personal due to the fact that friends are able to share within an intimate group, as oppose to many other users logging on and seeing their activity. ‘Plans’ is another feature of Swarm. With this, you are able to send out a mass message to all of your friends in a particular area and simply put, make plans with them. Swarm also has stickers (like Foursquare) which act as emoticons towards each particular venue.

Overall, Foursquare is the yin to Swarms yang. Where Foursquare will find you the exact venue you’re looking for, Swarm will to make plans with friends to make the venue a little more special. So what should bloggers use? Invariably, both. I'd still continue to leave tips on Foursquare. Although when choosing what to link to Twitter, the winner seems to be Swarm.

About Kelley Musson: Kelley Musson was born and raised in one of the most beautiful islands in the world –Bermuda. She relocated to Atlanta summer 2014, and is excited about the variety of restaurants at her fingertips. With an appreciation not only for great food, but also the ambiance that a restaurant provide, Kelley loves to share when she's had a memorable meal; especially one that includes a great cocktail or glass of wine to accompany it!

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