It has been challenging for Foursquare to make money. The popular location-based check in app has made news, generated buzz, and been the subject of purchasing and partnering talks since it became relatively popular amongst the mainstream in 2010. The only thing it hasn’t done is generate a substantial amount of revenue with its efforts.
Their latest attempt to enter the world of the profitable is Promoted Updates, a service whereby businesses can push their listings to the top in a way similar to promoted Tweets on Twitter. When a user opens the application, their mobile device’s GPS system alerts Foursquare of where the user in and presents them with locations within their area in which they can “check in”. It has Twitter and Facebook integration that allows users to broadcast their current whereabouts to their followers and publicly.
Promoted Updates for Foursquare bumps locations to the top when within appropriate proximity. The pay-per-action ad placements are clearly marked and are displayed in a more eye-catching format than standard locations.
According to Business Insider:
Foursquare has partnered with about 20 merchants, from small mom and pop shops to national chains like Best Buy, to launch the pilot program. In the next few months, Foursquare hopes to turn Promoted Updates into a self-service tool merchants of all sizes can use on its platform.
“This is a natural move for us,” says Foursquare’s Chief Revenue Officer Steven Rosenblatt. “We’re helping users make the most out of where they are, and helping merchants really connect with their most loyal users.”
He says Foursquare’s 20 million users are checking in 5 million times per day. Foursquare currently has 120 employees.
Here’s what Promoted Updates look like: