Yesterday we wrote about the enhancements to the new Foursquare app (v. 3.0). Today there are new details and screenshots in a Foursquare blog post specifically about the new merchant tools to create and organize specials. Here’s what we said yesterday.
The advertiser facing aspects are interesting too — and well in line with Foursquare’s evolution to better serve local advertisers with ways to drive foot traffic. Here, clearer value proposition is brought by the seven new clearly defined categories of deals.
It could be argued that without this structure, it can be confusing to SMBs about how to “use” Foursquare for local marketing or customer loyalty. Simplicity is paramount for SMB advertising and this better accomplishes it.
We stand by those comments but much more detail is available today. In addition to offering different types of well-defined specials, merchants can now run more than one special at a time. They can also better manage specials across many locations (a la Google Extensions).
This and other new aspects indicate a clear interest in going after national, regional and local advertisers. This will continue to happen in a self-serve manner but the company has also indicated interest in establishing reseller partners.
Interestingly, Foursquare also disclosed that 250,000 businesses have signed up to claim profiles and manage specials. That should grow with today’s enhancements, including an easier process for signing up and verifying a business.
This will all remain free for merchants for now, though we believe Foursquare will flip the monetization switch when it’s confident merchant tools are fully evolved. This is a huge potential revenue source for Foursquare and it clearly wants to get it right.
The new specials should meanwhile boost Foursquare’s appeal on the user end. Previous specials (mayorships and loyalty) were limited by comparison — especially given challenges in securing mayorships as the product rounds the corner on 8 million users.
You can read about the rest of the new enhancements in Foursquare’s blog post today. This will also be a prime topic at our ILM East conference in two weeks, where Foursquare GM Evan Cohen will keynote.