Foursquare made a slight, but welcome, change to its Facebook integration today that will now offer “prettier” Facebook Wall posts regarding your activities. Instead of posts that just show a standardized icon as before, the posts will include a full map, or your photos, if you’ve taken any, to accompany the check-in. Foursquare will also turn a long stream of check-ins into one, aggregated summary story. And Foursquare will begin posting a summary of your “recent activity” for the past month, which includes your check-in history, top places, new badges unlocked and more.
What’s interesting about the change is that the new maps that now post to Facebook are using Microsoft’s Bing Maps service. This is notable because late last month, Foursquare announced it was embracing the OpenStreetMap movement. All the maps on Foursquare.com will use OpenStreetMap, but here on Facebook, the mapping engine is from Microsoft.
Microsoft, it should be noted, already had a strategic partnership with Facebook on Facebook Places. And Bing Maps now powers the new Facebook Timeline feature. So, even though Foursquare uses OpenStreetMap on its home turf, on Facebook, the game is all Microsoft’s.
Foursquare’s monthly activity summary is a nice feature too, and comes courtesy of the new Timeline integration, as well.
However, I have to admit the change I’m most personally excited about is the aggregation feature. Too many infrequent Facebook users’ walls are filled with unintentional wall spam from apps that are posting to Facebook. Although Foursquare never posts to Facebook without your permission, for many, social sharing becomes a “set it and forget it” option. With check-in posts clogging up the walls as individual items, it becomes harder to see the real updates – the personal status posts and photo uploads that make Facebook friend stalking so much fun. The additional support for Foursquare photos will also be a big improvement in that regard (the stalking, that is).
All the new features are rolling out now, the company says. You won’t have to do anything for the changes to occur.
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...