Location-based check-in service Foursquare is planning to launch an advertising platform this summer, according to an Ad Age article citing “a person familiar with the matter.”
According to the report, the new functionality will be a part of the company’s merchant platform, which currently allows businesses to claim their profile on the service and offer coupons or other check-in rewards called “specials”. Foursquare currently isn’t compensated monetarily for including these specials. The new paid media offering will allow merchants to promote their specials within the app or site.
The company is in the process of pitching brands on becoming partners for the platform’s launch, the Ad Age report says.
Walgreens’ social media director Adam Kmiec confirms that the national drugstore chain was one of those who’ve been told about the upcoming platform launch. “We have a long standing relationship with Foursquare built on a commitment to innovate and scale social media across the country and down to a local level,” Kmiec told me in an email exchange. “We were one of the first partners made aware of the new platform and are excited to seeing foursquare bring it to market soon.”
Walgreens previously conducted an award-winning campaign on Foursquare that donated a flu shot to those in need for every check-in on the service or in Facebook Places. It also offered a check-in coupon for a $0.50 Arizona Ice Tea that pioneered the use of barcodes in specials.
Though Kmiec declined to share specific metrics, he said the company quantifies success in initiatives like these by looking at social signals. “A check-in is a very strong signal because it’s coming directly from the store,” he said, adding that the Foursquare programs were successful in increasing check-ins.