Foursquare Now Gives Businesses More Access to Customer Check-ins

Location-based social app Foursquare recently updated its privacy policy, and the changes could give businesses more information about their best customers who use the app.

One change to the privacy policy means that users’ full names will now be displayed. This won’t necessarily have much impact on users or businesses, since the app previously displayed full names sometimes (and sometimes just a first name and last initial), and users still have control over how their full name is displayed.

The other change means that businesses on Foursquare will have access to more of their recent customer check-ins. Currently, businesses only have access to customers who have checked in within the last three hours.

But now businesses that don’t have the time to view the app multiple times throughout the day can see more recent check-ins after closing time, along with their most loyal customers who use the app.

So for businesses, the new policy could lead to a more complete list of customers and more information about when they visit.

Foursquare offers a lot of advantages to businesses, such as the ability to offer deals or specials to the customers who check in often or at certain times. So this privacy change could mean that businesses get a better picture of their customers who use the app and how they can best take advantage of it for future offers.

The new policy goes into effect on January 28, and Foursquare users still have control over many privacy settings, including whether or not businesses can view their location information.

Foursquare also released a simplified explanation of its privacy policies, called “Privacy 101.” After the recent uproar over Instagram’s terms of use, clarifying exactly what the changes mean can help customers better understand how the policy might impact their use of the app and any personal information they might provide.

Foursquare currently has more than 25 million users worldwide and over a million businesses using the merchant platform. The company first launched in 2009 and is headquartered in New York.

Foursquare Photo via Shutterstock


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. This can certainly be a valuable tool for businesses. What Foursquare needs to be cautious of is how its users react to new policies, a la the Instagram backlash.