Less “Social Media,” More Passive Data Collection, Yay!

Foursquare had a great idea:

  • remove the social aspect of sharing, just track people silently all the time, it’s easier anyway
  • why bother with user-generated content, just feed them follow “experts” and feed them tips ads

Among the great features of the revamped app are:

  • tracking your location all the time
  • virtually no privacy controls
  • virtually no way to interact
  • suggestions almost solely based on paid advertisements expert opinions and tips
  • promise of more targeted ads outside of Foursquare

ArsTechnica has a nice quote on this:

This is the cleverest portion of the service’s revamp: make customers feel like they are sharing nothing, when in reality they are sharing everything. Passive information sharing and collection without the social friction—why didn’t anyone think of this before? The tragic, realistic answer is most likely “battery life.”
— Casey Johnston, ArsTechnica

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