Foursquare has always been fun for keeping up on your friends’ whereabouts, but now the location social network is letting people get real-time alerts whenever a particular friend checks into a place anywhere in the world.
The new Always On feature setting may prompt some uneasiness for the way it makes it easy for people to follow the movements of their friends. But Foursquare has previously allowed people to find their friends through the service and the data has already been available through Foursquare’s news feed.
The way it works is that a user can now visit a friend’s profile at Foursquare.com and set the Always On feature for that particular user. Then when that person checks in somewhere, the original user gets a push notification. Previously, users could only get notifications for friends checking in nearby in the same city. Now, for example, a wife can see when her husband checks into a hotel on a business trip or a person can know when their friend has started their vacation.
This is just another way to find people on Foursquare. The Nearby Friends feature was temporarily left out of Foursquare’s latest update but has been reintroduced. Foursquare also has a Radar feature that alerts users with a push-notification when their friends are nearby. Always On also shows why location can be interesting for users who are not turned off by the idea of friends and family knowing where they are.
Of course, if you somehow have an ex-boyfriend on Foursquare with you, it could be a little creepy. But you shouldn’t be friending people on Foursquare you’re not comfortable sharing your location with. That’s one of the main points of the service.