Foursquare tracks where you are even when the app is closed
The all-new version of Foursquare, announced Wednesday, “learns what you like, leads you to places you’ll love,” and tracks your every movement even when the app is closed.
This is an excellent article that all Foursquare users should read and understand. One of the things that is a given with free applications is that the companies that develop them have to make a profit somehow and many of them start of as high risk ventures that lose entrepreneurs loads of money. So effectively if you want to get good information and deals suited to your unique interests, there is a trade off.
You now need to be aware that unless you turn off the feature (and this article tells you how) you will be sharing your location information even when you turn the application off. The article says that it only consumes 0.7% of your device’s battery to do this (doesn’t mention that it is also using (probably also very small) some of your data cap. You should also be aware that this would be based on the state of the battery when it was new. I use Foursquare on a iPhone 4S and it’s battery life isn’t great any more, so the batter usage is likely to be proportionally much higher.
I do want the type of application that Foursquare has spent many years trying to be, although as per previous blogs, I’m not much into the division of it into two applications and that could end up being the fatal flaw for me. I have already started checking in a lot less (which is perhaps why they now use this surreptitious form of monitoring).
From a privacy perspective, they will be selling high level trends, not individual information, so they aren’t telling the retailer that John Smith is on their doorstep, but they will be able to tell them how many Foursquare users are or have been there.
I have watched Foursquare with interest and my biggest disappointment is that they didn’t support their mavens right from the start, who were prepared to help teach and support retailers as consultants, and in some cases manage their accounts for them. IMHO this failure to allow consultants to handle multiple accounts on their behalf, was and continues to be a fatal flaw. They provided great services to SME who didn’t understand how to use them and when the retailers wanted 3rd parties (like me) to help them via composite accounts, Foursquare said one email, one account and that didn’t work. End result (again my opinion) Foursquare missed out an a phenomenal opportunity for global domination. Even in the USA where there are major retail chains, there are way more small stores and they have really missed out on the marketing opportunities that Foursquare offered.
Anyway, please have a read of this article if you use Foursquare. It’s fairly imortant.