foursquare, local search, yelp, google, check-ins, facebookFoursquare today launched a feature that allows users not just to mention their friends but also to check them in.

“Instead of you and four friends each pulling out your phone to check in at dinner, now one of you can do it for everyone. Less time spent on your phone, more time enjoying the moment,” the company said of the feature.

Users whose friends attempt to check them in are prompted to approve the action the first time; after that, the same friend can check them in without permission. Facebook offers a similar feature, but the default setting allows a user’s friends to check him or her in without permission.

Foursquare says it rolled out the feature because more than 90 percent of so-called “@ mentions,” introduced in August 2012, consisted of users identifying whom they were with, anyway. But the feature will also let Foursquare add each check-in to the user profiles of each user, and count one action as multiple check-ins.

The location-based platform has struggled to get users to check in, a data point that is essential to its ongoing success, even as it repositions itself as a local search product.