Cambridge students launch app to organise swaps

Swap Trumps is like Tinder for your squad

A new app is being launched in Cambridge this Michaelmas, designed to link up groups of friends who want to organise swaps. The premise is similar to that of Tinder Social, but has been developed specifically to suit Cambridge University students. A swap (or 'crew date', as they're known in Oxford) is Cambridge slang for a social gathering between two groups of students from different colleges or societies.

Swap Trumps will be going live on 24th September, just in time for Freshers' Week in early October.

You'll be able to swipe left for no, right for yes

You'll be able to swipe left for no, right for yes

The app has been developed by three Cambridge students, who are going into their second year – two CompScis (Tristram Newman, Downing, and Carlos Purves, Jesus) and a NatSci (Ibrahim Sheikh, Downing). Sheikh came up with the idea last exam term but couldn't act on it, due to revision. He explained his motivation for creating the app:

"Freshers are encouraged to swap from Freshers' Week, yet it's hard for small groups of friends to do so, unless they have friends from their old school in other colleges that they actually want to meet again.

"Running out of these select few gives a more elevated status to students from public schools, who seem to know half the university already. People who want to initiate swaps with people in their accommodation need to find random groups through very tenuous links, or through societies which they may not all be part of."

Public school lad culture at swaps has been criticised in the past, something Swap Trumps may help to diffuse

Public school lad culture at swaps has been criticised in the past, something Swap Trumps may help to diffuse

Users will be able to login via Facebook, then create a Squad Profile for their group of friends, complete with a bio, photograph and college. You can swipe through different groups' profiles and start matching. You can rate your matches based on their chat, blood alcohol level and rowdiness. The measures are intended to be light-hearted and non-discriminative, allowing groups of friends to find similar people – Sheikh commented, "it allows you to find people you are looking for, so the Trinity Chess Team may not want to swap with the Downing Rowing Team, for example."

You can be part of as many groups as you want, so you can be part of the Gardening Society, your accommodation floor, or your sport team, all whilst using the same profile. Switching between them takes a simple click.

Swaps are often given a bad name on the grounds of misconduct and mess. However, once enough groups are active, Swap Trumps is planning to liaise with popular swap locations, to give well-behaved groups exclusive stickers on their profiles, incentivising respectful conduct.

High score on the rowdiness metric, low score on the chat metric

High score on the rowdiness metric, low score on the chat metric

The team are hoping to expand to Oxford, Durham, Bristol and UAE next year, if the app gains enough traction. Take a look at the Facebook page here, and stand by for the launch on 24th September.

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