Foursquare Promoted Updates and Specials – First Attempts At Monetization

More than 3 years after launching, Foursquare has finally attempted at monetizing its services. What sounds more like Twitter’s language, Foursquare will be rolling out two advertising options for brands: Promoted Updates and Promoted Specials.

This is a pilot experiment and it so far is limited to only 20 brands such as GAP, Walgreens, Best Buy, Hilton Hotels etc.

Let us take a look at both these advertising channels:

Promoted Updates

Marketing messages in promoted updates will be about new arrivals for the season, additions to the menu or any latest happening at the brand’s outlet.

Promoted Specials

These are more related to discounts and offers. So if a merchant is offering a ‘Buy 2 Get 1 Free’ offer, he will reach out to the users using Promoted Specials.

Both these channels are however, location based and the user won’t be able to see them unless he’s in the neighborhood of the merchant store. This works both for the users and merchants because users won’t be bombared with useless promotions while merchants will get to reach out to the users only when they are nearby, thus increasing the chances of a sale.

Presently, the merchants will pay Foursquare on a Cost-Per-Action model.

Since this is a pilot experiment, the results of this endeavor will decide the fate of Foursquare’s future. If it proves to be effective, it will be rolled out for everyone. And if it doesn’t, well…. I would hate to see Foursquare in trouble.

Image courtesy: Nan Palmero