During December and January the dev team has been focusing on fixing long-standing bugs and other site cleanup work. One of the more noticeable changes made was removing the “location” field from user profiles, so I wanted to give you more insight into the rationale behind it.
- The “Places” API we were using via Google to provide locations often failed to populate the field. As many of you had reported, this part of the feature had been broken for a while. We would have needed to invest more resources and money in the “Places” API to use it reliably going forward.
- When we dug in further, we found that only about 0.5% of users had ever used the location field.
- If people who did use it still want to mention their city or region in their profile, you can still do so by manually adding the info to your Bio.
- We weren’t using the location data to improve our service in any meaningful way, so it made sense to stop collecting it (and paying money for the service). Unnecessary data is a storage cost, and limiting it also keeps our system more secure.
Even though I know people did appreciate having this distinct location field, I hope this helps explain why we removed this feature.
Another update you might have noticed during this period was having non-Missions skill mastery count towards related badges and avatars - you can now trigger this by clicking the “Check for new badges and avatars” link on your Badges tab.
Most of the fixes and updates we’ve made likely weren’t as noticeable as these two, but we hope they all contribute to sustaining a more stable, higher-performing product.