Foursquare is rolling out a new update for iOS users, which will automatically push recommendations for places and establishments even without the user’s intervention. Convenient? Or intrusive?
Foursquare is rolling out a feature in its latest iOS app that might be received with mixed feelings. While Foursquare is more popularly known as an app that lets users share their whereabouts actively, there is great potential in the location-based and location-aware nature of the social network, especially for businesses keen on attracting a potential customer within the vicinity.
Since August this year, Foursquare users on Android had access to locale-specific alerts that give updates on the latest promos and happenings in the area. Starting with the upcoming iOS app, Foursquare will also push relevant notifications to iPhone users.
“When you arrive someplace, we can tell you something great there,” says the Foursquare team in a blog post. The update essentially uses the iPhones’ location sensors (particularly GPS data), coupled with Apple’s push notification service. If a relevant deal or update is within the user’s location and areas of interest, then the social network pushes an update to notify the user.
And because iOS push notifications will work even with the app closed, users can expect to get alerts for as long as notifications for the app are enabled.
The feature will be rolled out on a gradual basis, however. Foursquare is initially offering it to 1,000 users only, and will automatically enable the feature for other users. The system will bank on four years’ worth of data from the social network’s approximately 40 million members and 4.5 billion check-ins to date.
Privacy advocates might be worried about the fact that Foursquare is now keeping tabs on users and sending unsolicited updates. However, it should be considered that Foursquare is a network built on users checking in to places and sharing their locations with their friends and the public.
Apart from the push updates, Foursquare will allow users to find relevant information straight from the homescreen, with the new “nearby” button and “friends at a glance” button.