New podcast app Swoot plans discovery via social

The newest podcast app adds a social layer to listening. Swoot will display the shows that a person’s friends are following, along with letting people recommend shows and episodes. The social angle is meant to offer help with podcast discovery. Swoot can find connections through Facebook, Twitter, mobile contacts, or user name searches.

Pete Curley and Garret Heaton, who previously founded HipChat, are Swoot’s co-founders. They have raised $3 million so far for the project.

As when many music listening apps toyed with becoming social services a few years back, the key to making a project like Swoot work is getting a critical mass of participants. That will require listeners to leave their current service of choice, and built-in social networking may not be enough motivation for many. It’s also not the first service to mix social and podcasts. Castbox recently added a social feed to its platform.

Anna Washenko