Since the launch of Facebook places, Fousquare has continued its strategy to move beyond the simple act of “checkins” to widen the utility, functionality and potential the service provides for both users and marketers.
In a push to get users out and experience the world around them, Foursquare has announced partner badges. Put simply, users can earn badges by simply completing certain tasks as defined by that partner, without involving a checkin whatsoever. “Encouraging real-world actions is a big part of the mission behind foursquare,” the company said in a blog post today. “We’re also aware that some of those behaviors don’t necessarily involve a check-in.”
To get the ball rolling on the new initiative, Foursquare has partnered with a company called RunKeeper, an application that helps you track fitness routines. Through the partnership, users can now earn RunKeeper-exclusive badges on foursquare by achieving different milestones within their app. For instance, if you run a marathon using RunKeeper, you’ll unlock their Marathon badge. Once you unlock a badge, it will show up on both your RunKeeper profile and with your other badges in foursquare.
It’s an excellent strategy that will undoubtedly pay off for everyone involved. The company said its planning on developing more badges that are unlocked by real-world experiences rather than checkins with a “handful of carefully selected partners.” Should be interesting to see how users respond and how it correlates to the partners offering the badges.