Now that Foursquare is all grown up, boasting some 30 million members, the socially-minded check-in tool is adding some tender, loving care to its policies to usher in the new year. After the massive backlash against Instagram's haphazard terms-of-service update, it sure feels as if every app and startup is now being ultra cautious with how these types of things are handled. For Foursquare
, the company has a few changes that'll go into effect on 1/28/13.
For starters, it'll be showing your full name throughout the app, regardless of which platform you're using. Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial, but after next month, that'll be a thing of the past. So, with this change, full names are going to be public, but you can always modify your name in Foursquare Settings.
Next, a business on Foursquare will be able to see more of their recent customers. According to the company: "Currently, a business using Foursquare (like your corner coffee shop) can see the customers who have checked in in the last three hours (in addition to the most recent and their most loyal visitors). This is great for helping store owners identify their customers and give them more personal service or offers. But a lot of businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day to look at it. So, with this change, we're going to be showing them more of those recent check-ins, instead of just three hours worth. As always, if you'd prefer not to permit businesses to see when you check into their locations going forward, you can uncheck the box under ‘Location Information’ at https://foursquare.com/settings/privacy."
Neither of these changes seem like ones that'll cause much stress amongst users, but we're guessing the timing isn't coincidental. Better to be transparent than crushed
on the evening news, right?