Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
Today Foursquare is launching its version of search ads, Promoted Updates.Promoted Updates operate like Google’s promoted listings or Twitter’s promoted tweets. They are pay-per-action ad placements that only appear when a user is searching for a venue in Foursquare’s Explore tab.
Foursquare determines a user’s current location and check-in history before displaying a Promoted Update. The ads are powered by the same recommendation engine as its Explore feature. All of the paid placements will be clearly labelled at the top of the feed; they can include a store’s recent news, photos or specials.
Foursquare has partnered with about 20 merchants, from small mum and pop shops to national chains like Best Buy, to launch the pilot program. In the next few months, Foursquare hopes to turn Promoted Updates into a self-service tool merchants of all sizes can use on its platform.
“This is a natural move for us,” says Foursquare’s Chief Revenue Officer Steven Rosenblatt. “We’re helping users make the most out of where they are, and helping merchants really connect with their most loyal users.”
He says Foursquare’s 20 million users are checking in 5 million times per day. Foursquare currently has 120 employees.
Here’s what Promoted Updates look like: