Foursquare released an update to its iOS app with an important new feature: the ability to check-in your friends, but only with their permission. You can check them in, but they’ll have to navigate into the app to approve your check in request. Tapping once to approve a check-in is much less hassle than the original process, and at the same time Foursquare increases the chances of more people checking into more places, exclusively through one click-happy friend who checks in the whole gathering. It’s very easy to see how this could boost check-in numbers across the board, and cold be a widely utilized feature by fans of the app.
Foursquare began pitching digital agencies on a new advertising product that would utilize Foursquare’s location and behavioral data to contextualize ads on other platforms. The product itself is still in development, but it will eventually allow advertisers to use Foursquare data to target ads purchased through ad exchanges or networks. This will mark Foursquare’s first attempt to generate revenue outside of its trademark app. Prior ad efforts only netted the company $2 million, and with heightened pressure on the now-burgeoning startup, the race is on to prove it can generate enough revenue to justify its sky-high valuations. These new developments mesh with the update released on Wednesday that aims to make local discovery, not check-ins, its primary function. It seems as though many agencies are willing to pay for this sort of data for targeted ads, and with the company positioning itself as, “the location layer for the Internet,” more than 40,000 developers have integrated Foursquare’s location database into their apps.