Log on to Facebook and you're guaranteed to see one or more of your friends “checking in” at a local restaurant, sporting event, or even their own home. Where some used to check in using Foursquare, many found that Facebook's own check-in function was sufficient. However, Foursquare is making a Facebook comeback using the new Timeline design, and making these check-ins a bit easier on the eyes.
Up until the changes were discussed by Facebook at SXSW in Austin, check-ins featured the Foursquare icon after your post in the news feed or on your profile. Now, when you choose to integrate Foursquare on your Facebook Timeline, each check-in is accompanied by a map displaying your exact location. If your friends have checked in at the same location, their names will be listed in your post as well. Did you upload photos while checked into this location on Foursquare? Those will be displayed as well.
Users of Foursquare may be aware that the company announced last month their maps would change over to OpenStreetMap. This is not the case while on Facebook, as Microsoft has partnered with the social media giant on Facebook Places. This means Microsoft's Bing Maps are used, not only on Facebook Places, but Facebook Timeline as well. Facebook is calling the shots, and Foursquare has no choice but to play along.
A Module of Its Own
If you use Facebook with its dreaded Timeline, you know that certain services, websites, your photos, and your friend list all have their own modules at the very top of your Timeline. Rather than a billion separate posts of your check-ins clogging up your Timeline and the news feed, this module functions as a summary of your monthly check-in activity: recent check-ins, total number of check-ins, the places you have checked in the most, and more.
Let's say you check in six different places in one day. Before, each check-in would receive its own post on the Timeline. Some people take pictures in the same place of different things while checked in, one after the other, and it clogs up the news feed. With the new integration, multiple check-ins will be consolidated in a single post for your friends' viewing pleasure. Now, status updates aren't as easily missed in the sea of check-ins.
Changes As Hated As Timeline?
If you read the Foursquare blog about these changes, you'll read comments from some very unsatisfied Foursquare users. The company assures that the user can go on using Foursquare as usual, posting check-ins to Facebook this new and improved way, not worrying about a thing. However, users are reporting some issues with the new integration. The most complained about issue: posts are showing up in the module on the poster's Timeline, but not in the news feed. Some mobile users are also complaining that check-ins aren't showing up in the feed via the FB app.
Other reported issues include the inability to comment on a friend's check-in or tag friends in a picture and the large size of the map image. It takes up more room than a photo post does. Also missing is a way to set check-ins to automatically post to Facebook, as users say they have to choose to share each time they check in, which is annoying for those who use this feature frequently.
As with any change, there are bound to be some bugs to work out. Let's hope Foursquare can address these issues, as many users are ditching the service completely due to the new integration in favor of Facebook's own location feature.