The guys at Foursquare knows that while we want to be mayors of our own homes, we need to stay hidden to present stalkers or unwanted disturbance at your house. Now they have created a solution for users to do just that.
To help protect the privacy of people’s homes, a few months ago we made a change: venues that were categorized as ‘homes’ only showed up in the ‘nearby places’ list if you were friends with the creator of the venue, if you’d checked in there before (like for a party), or if you searched for it specifically by name (little known fact: the most popular superhero-related home name is the ‘Batcave’).
So what did they change in their system?
From today onwards:
– Only the person who created the ‘home’ and their friends can see the address on the venue page.
– Similarly, on the venue page, only those same people can see the map pin. Everyone else will see a map randomly centered somewhere near the address, with the zoom pulled out a bit.
– And don’t worry about the link getting sent around, or if you share it on Facebook or Twitter. The same rules apply!
To help make sure everyone gets these benefits, we also did a massive sweep of our venue database and re-categorized a ton of venues as homes (for instance, we’d re-categorize if only one person had ever checked in there and it was near a lot of other homes, or if it was called ‘batcave’).
Also, we added a new ‘Report a problem’ link, which allows you to tell us that a place is your home. This helps us make it private, or, if you want, we can remove it from foursquare.