It’s been a couple years but looks like foursquare is finally selling out and making some cash.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Foursquare is finally addressing that age-old question faced by big, buzzy startups: how are you going to make some real money? The location-based social network is rolling out its long awaited promoted updates, an advertising product that allows local and national businesses to push out specials, news and pictures to Foursquare’s more than 20 million users.
While Foursquare has made a small amount of money in the past on things like brand promotions and allowing merchants to claim their Foursquare venue page online, it really hasn’t had a reliable monetization engine. Over the last three years, it has shunned traditional advertising in favor of creating a fun and increasingly powerful product that works for both consumers and merchants. Now, with the promoted updates, it’s leveraging its Explore technology, which suggests place recommendations to users, to match promoted updates to the people most likely to act on them.
So when users fire up their Explore tab on their Foursquare mobile app, they will now see promoted updates from nearby businesses that want to prompt some kind of action from them. The Explore engine will only send out updates to users in the area who have visited, liked or interacted with similar businesses or had friends that did so. Businesses who buy promoted updates will pay on a cost-per-action basis, which could be anything from a user visiting a venue page or unlocking a special to checking in or loading a special to their American Express (s axp) card. Merchants will be able to select the locations they want to promote and schedule updates, but they must trust Explore to do the personal targeting.