Foursquare Launches An Obvious, Brilliant Business Model

foursquare tattoos

Photo: dpstyles via Flickr

Foursquare has just created a dashboard for local businesses that want to offer mayor specials and other rewards to people who checkin, Mashable reports.This is smart and was a while coming, but it is still fascinating nonetheless to see this happen.

Right now Foursquare isn’t charging businesses for the dashboard because they want to see how people use it and improve on it, and we don’t think it would be smart to charge for it at all.

They will almost certainly charge for advertising and promotions later. Local advertising is a $10 billion market, and Google and everyone else has pretty much failed at making a dent there.

At a dinner party with successful web entrepreneurs, one of them said to me “Foursquare is just a game, there’s no business model.” I nodded politely. A few days later I was with a friend who owns a restaurant. This friend is in his fifties and didn’t use any social networks. When I showed him Foursquare, he instantly got it. When I explained the concept of a mayor, he laughed out loud and told me he would get that mayor free coffee and asked me if it was possible to run ads on Foursquare.

Lots of big numbers and big money are thrown around for Foursquare. Some people think the hype isn’t justified. Everything could happen, but we have a hunch Foursquare could be on the cusp of a huge business opportunity.

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