Sunday, March 13, 2011

Foursquare - Not Just Badges Anymore

The location-sharing app Foursquare, born at the 2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) social media event in Austin, Texas, has launched a new version that begins to increase its viability among businesses. While earning badges for check-ins and becoming the “Mayor” of a location was fun, those behaviors may now translate into merchant incentives that reward users for their consumption habits. Available for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Palm and other mobile platforms, Foursquare  launched version 3.0 of its service (for iPhone and Android) just in time for this weekend’s SXSW, with a recommendation engine that finds places to go based on keywords and a merchant rewards program to give them more ways to attract Foursquare users. With two years of data on usage, Foursquare rainmakers designed new types of merchant integration around the social behaviors of its members. Flash specials promoting being one of the first 20 people at a specific location get 10 percent off and friend specials motivating check in with four friends to receive 25 percent off your bill. Looks like Foursquare is headed in the right direction. Will Facebook Places and other geotargeting platforms join them?

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