Foursquare’s Swarm is an app that many people have a love and hate relationship with. Ever since it was introduced, Foursquare has been making some very substantial changes to its services and the results were mixed. Thankfully, the company is now ready to address one of Swarm’s most awkward parts: the “Plans” feature that has led to many public embarrassments.
In case you are not familiar with the feature, allow me to elaborate. If a Swarm user wants to hang out with some friends and wants to communicate that through the app, they can post a public “plan” that all of their contacts can see. So you can say you want to go out for a coffee to 100 people instantly. You can see how that can go very, very wrong.
In order to get around that, Swarm has decided to introduce direct messaging so that you can avoid embarrassing situations. At least as a result of the app itself anyway. Users can now send private messages to whoever they want either individually or in group messages. And even though the Plans feature has been removed, users can still send a shout-out to every single person in their list. Presumably, users will use the public feature for other things now.
This is probably enhanced by the fact that your location will be displayed in all of your messages. Location sharing, check-ins and all that are major parts of Foursquare and Swarm anyway so this should not really come as a surprise. And since you can also see if your friends have read your messages or not they will really have no excuse anymore. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up to you to judge.