Foursquare launches dedicated iPhone app for restaurants, retailers
Foursquare introduced a new standalone app for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS enabling its merchant partners to post photo updates, manage specials and offers and monitor analytics.
Foursquare for Business is just the second mobile app launched by the four-year-old company--while the original consumer-centric foursquare service continues to focus on personalized recommendations, user interactions and location-based check-ins, the new app offers a host of tools to help restaurateurs and retailers drive new and repeat business. Users can share photos of their establishments and events, share updates to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter, activate and deactivate deals, view recent check-ins and access information on their most loyal customers. Business owners may also manage more than one company or location via the app.
Foursquare has also implemented new rules requiring users to share their full name with each check-in. "Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial ("John Smith" vs. "John S.")… with this change, full names are going to be public," foursquare said, suggesting that users who do not want to share that information edit the name associated with their account. The company explained that this change will make it easier for users to find other friends using the service.
Foursquare for Business signals the latest step in the startup's efforts to monetize its platform. In mid-2012, foursquare rolled out Promoted Updates, spotlighting deals from local merchants via the app's Explore recommendation engine, which highlights nearby points of interest based on the user's check-in history and their friends' foursquare activity, complete with consumer reviews and merchant offers. Merchants pay foursquare only when consumers check into their business, unlock a special or otherwise interact with their promotion.
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