Location-based social networking service, Foursquare, just announced a new feature for businesses that will allow local merchants to send updates about their business to their loyal customers whenever they’re nearby.
Foursquare Local Updates will roll out to business owners over the next week. The new feature gives businesses the opportunity to create unique messages about deals, specials, new items, or any other pertinent information they want customers to see. Messages can contain up to three photos, a special and any combination of text.
Though businesses that use Foursquare can already set up specials that users can claim when they check in, Local Updates allows businesses to specifically target and reach out to users who are the most likely to take advantage of the offers and support those local businesses.
Some business owners who already have access to the new feature have compared it to an outdoor chalkboard, where merchants can change specials or messages daily. Except with Foursquare Local Updates, users don’t have to be within feet of the storefront to read the message.
Customers who can receive business updates are determined by the amount of check-ins and recent check-ins and whether they have liked the location on Foursquare.
When a Foursquare user that meets those qualifications enters a small radius around the business, which could mean one mile in a big city or up to 10 miles in a more rural area, that customer will receive a tailored message created by the business owner. Users can opt-out of receiving updates from certain businesses, so those who continue to receive updates are likely to be those who actually want to continue frequenting that business.
Once Foursquare Local Updates rolls out to business owners, updates can be seen in version 5.2 of the app, which is available now. The details are at Foursquare for business.