Thoughts About the All New Foursquare

For the past few weeks, I have been reading tweets and Facebook updates about the “all new Foursquare.” Foursquare, a location-based social networking website, made major changes to their app this week. When I heard that Foursquare was making changes, I got very excited because I have been a big Foursquare fan and user since its early days. However, as I read about the speculated changes, I developed concerns.

As soon as the update was available yesterday, I installed it on my phone. My worries were immediately confirmed. If you read my blog posts frequently, you will know that I absolutely LOVE social networking. However, you will also know that I think that there is an issue with networking and net-stalking.

One of my favorite features about the “old Foursquare” was that there was an element of privacy. I liked that it was different from Facebook and Twitter. If a friend made a new contact on Foursquare, that was his or her own business. With the recent update, I can now see the names of the people with whom my contacts are connecting. That means that whenever I accept someone as a new contact, MY name will go into that person’s feed for all of THEIR contacts to see. I do not know how comfortable I am with that.

Additionally, Foursquare now allows users to see all the recent check-ins of contacts. The “old Foursquare” simply posted the most recent check-in. I do not like the idea of knowing every single place that my friends check-in because I do not think that I need that much information. Likewise, I do not like the idea that people can see my location trail. In my humble opinion, the most recent check-in (or perhaps the two most recent check-ins) is enough information. I think that the ability to follow someone’s whereabouts so closely can cause issues for Foursquare. I might be wrong but I think that this recent change might incentivize people to check-in “off the grid” more often which will defeat Foursquare’s purpose.

Foursquare is a free app and I realize that I can use it or choose not to use it. Until now, I have been a big Foursquare fan but I am going to be rethinking in what way and how often I will use it. For now, I will only be checking-in at certain locations and making more of my check-ins “off the grid.” Foursquare is taking suggestions from users and working out kinks so perhaps there will be more changes to come.

If you are a Foursquare user, what are your thoughts? Have you taken a close look at the updates? What do you think about Foursquare generating a longer trail of your whereabouts?

  • Margaret

    I completely agree. It’s a little much. I’ve stopped checking in altogether until I decide my gameplan

  • Roberta Budvietas

    I have never been convinced about Foursquare but see it has value. Now I am even more reluctant to look

  • http://www.adjuvancy.com/wordpress Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    I always thought that Foursquare provided (and obtained) a little too much information.  Moreover, unless I wanted to have a meeting (for which I can invite folks simply enough), I don’t see the reason to advertise to the world exactly where I am now.
    Thanks for making my suspicions more clear.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    I am still very careful with my connections on Foursquare. I don’t network on there in the same way that I do on other social platforms. However, I am just starting to engage more there. I see the value and understand that it is just one more way to reach target customers! I’m also enjoying it again as a way to have a little location-based fun with friends.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    There are a few things that I am liking about Foursquare that I didn’t give a chance as readily as I should have. I am not connected to very many people on Foursquare so I feel safe enough to use it a bit more as a way to learn about what places my friends like/don’t like, which is helpful to me in choosing venues to shop/eat/etc.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    Thanks for the comment! What did you decide to do? Since I wrote this post, I have been checking in much less. However, I have been engaging with friends on Foursquare a lot MORE. I have been getting involved in conversations, “liking” checkins, commenting on Foursquare pictures, etc. I used to checkin everywhere and now they are less frequent but I feel as though I am actually getting more from the service!

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