Foursquare, an app that lets people virtually check-in to places that they visit, has received a new update that benefits both consumers and merchants. Those familiar with Foursquare have been waiting for this new feature and it’s finally here, a new revenue generating feature. This is the first money-making feature that Foursquare has released.

Foursquare has announced the pilot launch of its “promoted updates,” which allows companies to send out messages about deals or products that are available to Foursquare users. These new updates are available in two forms. The first is Promoted Updates (sound familiar? kinda like promoted tweets?), like Gap saying “We have new yoga pants!” and Promoted Specials, like Walgreens sending a message that says “Foursquare customers get 10 cents off of Shampoo.”

Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare’s chief revenue officer, says the major focus with these updates are that users find them worthwhile. This is while they use the same technology to ensure they are targeted to users based on their locations and interests, just like Local Updates.

In an interview, Rosenblatt said, “What we’re really excited about is that you have to be near a business to get an update. No matter how much someone pitches us, it has to be relevant, based on proximity and based on intent. Those are critical.”

At this point, Promoted Updates are only available to the 20 something companies that are part of Foursquare’s pilot program, including big companies like Gap, Best Buy, Hilton, and Walgreens, and smaller businesses like Butter Lane. Each company pays Foursquare on a ‘cost per action’ model, rather than based on how many views or impressions their updates receive.

Rosenblatt did not specify when Promoted Updates would be available to all businesses that are part of the Foursquare platform. It will depend on how the pilot venture goes and when the feature has been improved and perfected.

Source and Image Credit: TechCrunch

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