Since its creation in 2009, the social networking site Foursquare has allowed users to connect with others by location. It informs others about where they are in present time so that their friends can make suggestions about what to do or get. With the site having a user-basis of 20 million, it is no surprise that advertisers have jumped on for the action.
Just yesterday, Foursquare just started testing with their paid ad pilot program called “Promoted Updates.” While users will still be able to make suggestions to one another via Facebook and elsewhere, advertisers will also make their products known as well.
Promoted Updates will be included in the “Explore” tab for users to view at their convenience. This is the tab that Foursquare figures out what the users might find most interesting based on their past activity, plus the trends of others. In the case of Promoted Updates, any paid ad that shows up will be featured in yellow text – somewhat similar to how Twitter makes it clear that some tweets are promoted by companies.
Participating businesses, in which there are currently about twenty as Ad Age reports, will be able to inform the user of any deals or specials going on according the area that they might be. Also, the ads can expand to be a coupon or new product releases. If the testing goes successfully, it looks like Foursquare wants to be able to include other merchants in the program – a number that nears one million.
While at first it may be a turn off to learn about more advertising being included in another social networking site, where Foursquare could actually rise above the rest is the ability to really pinpoint the wants and needs of the user. According to Macworld, for any of the paid ads to show up is based on the location of the user, which means that they will not see a paid ad every time they open Explore.
While Foursquare has made the comparison of Promoted Updates to basic online search ads, it sounds like the relevancy that Promoted Updates succeeds in greatly outdoes the questionable advertisements that pop up on user’s Google and Facebook screens.
One of the big risks that the advertisers have to factor in is the user attitude towards seeing any kind of advertising, which will be easily identifiable not only because of what is being pushed, but the immediate reaction to yellow lettering against everything else.
However, it is still way too early to tell just how the collective attitude is going to be for users who interact with Promoted Updates. Relevancy is certainly key, so the prospect of success is definitely attainable if Foursquare approaches it right.
About Author: With articles on websites like Social Digital Space, ReactrMag and www.dx3.net , Mike Lamardo covers it all with subjects ranging from science, music, technology and more.