Foursquare To Show Users' Full Names, Share More With Merchants

Foursquare-App-BAs mobile social network Foursquare shifts its model away from check-ins and toward local discovery, it is tweaking the way it surfaces and shares information about members. Several news outlets report that Foursquare alerted users over the weekend that searches for friends on the social network will now show full names in the results instead of the abbreviations used previously.

Engadget quotes the notice sent to users (hey, we never got ours!) claiming: “We get emails every day saying that it's now confusing” and that the new system will clarify the search results.

The change in how Foursquare reveals full names will take effect Jan. 28. Users can change their names in the account settings to prevent their profiles having their actual name.



But at the same time the company also changed its privacy policy to allow greater sharing of customer check-in information with the related merchant. Previously, a local business could only access the user information for check-ins made there in the last three hours.

The new policy allows sharing over a longer period for businesses that only have time to check information daily. Foursquare reminds its users that they can opt out of location sharing in their own privacy settings.

Clearly aware of Instagram’s recent missteps when it came to unclear privacy policy changes, Foursquare’s letter (ya know we still didn’t get ours, Dennis) tries to be as explicit and transparent as the company can be. Foursquare claims over 25 million users worldwide and over 3 billion check-ins. While the check-in activity is what made the social network famous first, its more recent app updates emphasize instead local resource discovery and user reviews, apparently aiming to compete with the likes of Yelp.  

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Foursquare and Apple were in discussions about integrating some of the social network's local data into Apple’s controversial iOS maps. Apple already incorporates Yelp data in its maps, which in our use still lags behind the richness and breadth of Google’s local business reviews. 

1 comment about "Foursquare To Show Users' Full Names, Share More With Merchants".
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  1. Randy f Price from Digital Pricepoints, January 2, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.

    No more anonymous free lunch...ok not exactly,but some budding entreprenuer should find a simple app to manage all your privacy settings across social media

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