Are location-based ads on Foursquare’s radar?

16Oct11


The popular location-based social networking app, Foursquare, has just announced a new feature called “Radar.” As this article suggests, the new feature “could be embraced by users who are tired of checking in – and eventually, by advertisers.”

In a blog post by Foursquare, they describe the new radar feature that essentially turns the app into a location alert system even if you have not checked in or have the app open on your mobile device.  If you follow a list (such as 101 Best Dishes of 2011), Foursquare will let you know when you are next to one. If you have items on your To-Do List, Foursquare will remind you when you walk by. Also, if you are in the neighborhood and your friends have checked in nearby, they will alert you so you can meet up!

This seems to solve the problem of “data overload,” a problem Foursquare’s co-founder discussed earlier this year.  The whole process would be easier if users didn’t have to check in to locations all the time and also share GPS coordinates with friends constantly. Radar offers a solution by allowing Foursquare to provide useful information based on where you are, and the user can check-in and share their location at their convenience.

This tool could be beneficial to local advertisers. “It’s a way for Foursquare to tap into one of the popular ideas in mobile advertising, namely ‘geo-fencing,’ where businesses can send messages to consumers once they’re within a certain distance of their store.”  Foursquare has innovated small businesses by allowing them to offer specials to patrons who check in.  If merchants were able to tap in to the Radar feature, they could advertise specials to anyone in the area.

However, for the moment, “there are currently no plans to monetize Radar,” says a Foursquare spokesperson.  In the future, the company may start to bring on sales executives, at which point, features like Radar could entice potential advertisers.

What are your thoughts? Do you think having advertisers alerting Foursquare users to specials nearby will be successful? Or will this potentially turn off users to more “data overload” that they are trying to avoid?

-Sarah Dresser

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3 Responses to “Are location-based ads on Foursquare’s radar?”

  1. This was by me – Shannon – by the way! I really will remember to post my name…one day….

  2. Oh crap, I screwed up. I obviously didn’t write this one as Sarah did. I’ll try again and see what I did wrong…

  3. Amazing things here. I am very happy to see your article. Thanks so much and I am having a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?


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