Foursquare Hopes To Monetize With Promoted Updates
July 25, 2012

Foursquare Hopes To Monetize With Promoted Updates

John Neumann for - Your Universe Online

Foursquare, the online check-in service, is ready to start making money by rolling out Promoted Updates, which will let merchants alert potential nearby customers with status updates.

The Promoted Updates improves upon Foursquare´s Local Updates by allowing a merchant to pay per view of the promotion, Dara Kerr writes for CNET.

Businesses can send messages over Foursquare to participating customers that are either Updates or Specials. For example retailer Best Buy can send an announcement over Foursquare that it has new MP3 players in stock, or it can say all MP3 players are 10 percent off denoting a Special.

Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare´s chief revenue officer, explains that the company´s focus with these updates are making sure that users actually find them to be worthwhile – which is why they use the same technology to make sure they´re targeted to users specifically based on their locations and interests, just like the Local Updates are.

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

Promoted updates are only currently available to 20 or so companies participating in Foursquare´s pilot program, including Gap, Best Buy, Hilton, and Walgreens. Smaller businesses participating will pay Foursquare on a Cost Per Action model, not based on how many views, or impressions, their updates receive.

Rosenblatt would not give details on when Promoted Updates will be available to all businesses on the Foursquare platform, reports Colleen Taylor for Tech Crunch. “It´s really dependent on the learnings we get and the experiences we have. We want to make sure we really perfect it,” he said. “This will evolve, and as it evolves, when we feel ready we can open it up.”

“This is the first time ever that we´re allowing businesses to pay to promote their business in Foursquare,” product manager Noah Weiss told Venture Beat´s Jennifer Van Grove in an interview. “It´s obviously a very exciting milestone for us.”

“We´ve been developing these two in parallel for awhile,” Weiss continued. “Local Updates are really about engaging with your existing customers when they´re in the feed, when they´re nearby. [Promoted Updates] “¦ are about showing your business more prominently, hopefully with a compelling piece of content, in the Explore tab, which is where our users go when they´re actually looking for ideas for what to do next in the real world.”