Foursquare currently shows full names in certain occasions, such as when a user is looking up a friend. Generally, however, it only shows the first name and last initial.
Regarding the change to displaying full names, the service said, “In the original versions of Foursquare, these distinctions made sense. But we get emails every day saying that it’s now confusing.”
Once the change goes into effect, users’ full names will be displayed across the entire service, but users can alter their full name in the settings.
The location-based service also said giving venue owners the opportunity to keep track of their customers will allow the owners to “give them more personal service or offers.”
The policy change will go into effect on January 28, 2013.
After the outrage that followed Instagram’s terms of service update, it makes sense that Foursquare would take a more cautious approach to updating its policy. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom quickly apologized for the confusion caused by the new terms, which led some users to believe that the photo sharing app would be allowed to sell photos without notifying or compensating the user. The app will revert to the version that has been in place since the serve launched two years ago.