The new tools give business owners a detailed look at the check-in activity of their customers. In addition to tracking who is checking in when, businesses will be able to set up promotional offers instantly from Foursquare’s website.
This last detail is the key point. At this point, there are probably only a handful of businesses that have a statistically meaningful percentage of their customer base on Foursquare. But analytics about the customers who do use the service will help businesses design the perfect promotions for them, and give them instant feedback on the success of those deals.
Getting businesses engaged with the product is also the key to creating a real revenue model for Foursquare. Promotional deals have long been expected to be a major source of income for check-in services. And if the analytics are useful, 900 businesses will suddenly have a vested interest in getting their customers to use Foursquare.