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Foursquare to make full names public and share more check-ins with businesses

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foursquare iphone
foursquare iphone

In an email sent today to users, Foursquare has announced that it will begin to show users' full names in search results, and share more check-ins with businesses that were previously only able to see data from the past three hours. Previously, people appeared in search with a first name and last initial in some cases, and the company says it's making the change after receiving complaints from confused users. (Foursquare notes that users are not required to use their real names and can change their names using privacy settings.) The changes will take effect on January 28th, 2013, and the maker of the location-based social network says that they are necessary changes for an evolving product; "The Foursquare of today is so different than the first version that launched in 2009, and we appreciate that you let us continue to evolve and build our vision," the company writes. "This occasionally means altering our privacy policy."

"We make it a priority to come up with clear ways to help you understand your privacy choices, and to communicate them clearly."

Along with the new changes, Foursquare has introduced a new "Privacy 101" policy document which attempts to explain the service's privacy features in a way that's readable for human beings (non-lawyers). Instagram recently tried to do the same with a revamped TOS document, which was quickly attacked with panicked analysis that claimed the company was trying to sell everyone's personal photos (it wasn't trying to do that, but that didn't stop hordes of users from sharing the misinformation and threatening to leave the service.) Fortunately, that episode hasn't appeared to deter companies like Foursquare from attempting to compliment dense legalese with user-readable policies and terms.