There’s a new purportedly low-fat frozen yogurt place in our neighborhood, and it’s got the buzz that you can only get in a smaller town. Everyone from the most skeptical connoisseurs to the high school girls are chasing this new frozen yogurt, and what better way to show off that you’re in on the new trend than by checking in on Facebook or Foursquare. Well, if I had written that two years ago, I wouldn’t have mentioned Facebook, but since FB got in the check-in game, Foursquare has been working hard to differentiate itself to stay relevant.
Today they’re offering businesses, like the aforementioned frozen yogurt shop, a way to quickly and easily control their own Foursquare site.
In the past, if a business wanted to verify itself on Foursquare, they had to send a snail mail to Foursquare to verify their identity. Once they’d done that (and the process takes three to hour weeks), they’d have access to advanced tools to help convert check-ins to sales. Once verified, businesses are able to post coupons and specials, analyze user data and make status updates to visiting users. This can be more powerful than other social networks, because when someone is typically checking into your business, they’re actually in the store.
Foursquare’s new offer is to let businesses verify themselves for $10 immediately, rather than waiting the month to have that process complete. It’s a quick way for Foursquare to make money but will probably have businesses wondering whether they’re charging for an activity that doesn’t cost them anything — and that could open the door for competitors to do it for free. For now, the program is only available in the United States, but they’ll be spreading the program internationally soon, according to the official page.
We’ll have to keep an eye on the program and see how it fares. Stay tuned.