Foursquare, a social media platform at the front of mobile check-ins, has recently launched a new paid advertising concept.
The new advertising concept was first launched in a pilot phase with about 20 US merchants, ranging from stores like the Gap, JC Penny, Best Buy, Hertz, Walgreens, Macy’s, and the Standard Miami hotel.
The new “promoted updates” will soon appear in the “Explore” tab for users to surf locations and specials. Like many other social media platforms, Foursquare will use an algorithm to best determine which promoted updates will show up in various profiles; this will of course depend on user’s recent check-ins, locations, engagement and time of day.
This new feature will be similar to the “local updates” rolled out last week, which allows messages to be shown to people who have recently checked into a certain locations. Noah Weiss, Foursquare product manager commented on the new feature, “We think about these as Google search ads for real world places, so the relevancy is really important.”
Foursquare declined to release pricing details, but Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare’s CRO, noted the program will be charged on a cost-per-action model. “One of the things we’re going to be experimenting with is: How do people want to be paying for this,” Rosenblastt said.
As Foursquare works out their pricing model, this latest announcement calls to question the relevance of social media advertising for many companies. I have read many mixed reports for businesses talking about the success/failure of Facebook advertising, promoted messages on fan pages, and promoted tweets on Twitter. It will be interesting to see if there are any real results from the 20 test pilot companies on Foursquare advertising.
If you have had experience with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn advertising please do leave a comment. I would love to hear what you think of this latest social media advertising.