Foursquare adds Local Updates

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users "check in" at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes "badges".

With over 20 million users, 2 billion check-ins and over 1 million businesses using the platform, Foursquare is a wildly popular app. It’s essential for all location-based entertainment businesses and restaurants to stay informed of any updates and Foursquare evolutions. And if your restaurant or entertainment business isn’t yet on Foursquare, it’s a good idea to sign up. The latest feature, Local Updates, allows businesses to push specials or let users know what’s going on in your venue, not only when they are inside, but when they are near-by as well. The feature lets your business send text, photo, or special updates to users that have checked into a business at least once, that clue users into what they're offering even if they are not in the venue. Local Updates only lets businesses push specials when you're nearby and thus reasonably able to visit the location.

Foursquare is also updating their “back-end” merchant dashboard with analytics that let businesses see which updates are pushing customers to recommend the business to their friends and to check in themselves. Foursquare says Local Updates is just the beginning of a bigger effort to build out tools that simultaneously benefit the businesses on its platform and the various types of users. LBEs and restaurants need to be aware of these changes, as it’s a platform that can trigger more un-planned visits and greater spending overall.