Web & Social
Last week, Foursquare launched Local Updates, a tool that let businesses communicate with their existing customers in real time. Simply put, your favorite cafe could entice you with a special deal sent directly to your phone, if Foursquare realizes that you're nearby. Starting soon, however, Foursquare will also have Promoted Updates, allowing companies to attract brand-new customers by paying to advertise. In a variety of interviews, Foursquare promises that the new Promoted Updates will be tastefully limited, so you shouldn't get spammed with offers from left and right. In particular, you should only see them when you're proactively looking for new businesses via the Explore tab, and only then when they're relevant to your interests (or your friends' interests) based on existing check-ins, specials and the like. For now, it's also just a pilot program, so it might be a while before it makes a difference in your routine, if at all, and promotions can last up to a few months each. The company's starting with just twenty businesses so far, including The Gap, Best Buy, Walgreens, and Old Navy.