Promoted Updates Unveiled From Foursquare

On Wednesday, Foursquare revealed how it will better connect its growing user base with the businesses they love.

“Today,” the company announced, “we’re introducing a new way for you to discover places when you’re looking for what to do next: Promoted Updates (including Promoted Specials) in your Explore tab.”

It’s a great way to find out what’s happening at a local coffee shop, save money on your next clothing purchase, or just discover a store you’ve never been to before.

Based on the details revealed this morning, promoted updates can include things like recent news, photos, and specials. Foursquare says it uses the same algorithms that power Explore’s personalized recommendations to decide which updates to show users.

For now, this pilot program for promoted updates will get underway with about two dozen partners, including Best Buy, Crunch, Gap, Hilton, jcpenney, and Lowe’s.

Foursquare says promoted updates will work as follows:

Relevant: Promoted updates are like search ads for the real world. If you search for ‘laptops’ online, you might see an ad for an electronics website next to the results. In foursquare, if you do the same search in Explore, you might see a promoted special about a weekend deal at a nearby computer store.

Local: You’ll only be shown promoted updates from businesses when you’re close enough to actually stop by, so you can take advantage of the information being shared immediately.

If you’re wondering where they will appear, promoted updates will only appear in the Explore tab and they’ll always include a “Promoted” logo.

“With the launch of Promoted Updates, we believe we’ve created a suite of tools that will truly drive business and build loyalty for merchants,” says Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Business owners have been asking for these types of products for many years. We’re on our way to helping them solve some of their biggest problems by delivering the right messages to the people who are most likely to love a business when they’re nearby.”