Foursquare continues to sign interesting deals with major players in a wide range of fields. Following the service’s Bravo deal a couple weeks ago, they’ve reached a deal with restaurant rating guide Zagat, according to The New York Times. And AdAge has some details about deals with even more partners, including HBO, Warner Brothers, and the History Channel.
The service has been on a roll lately. They’re now seeing over a million check-ins a week, with that rate doubling in the last month alone. And these new deals can only help them as they bring the type of mainstream appeal that it took services like Twitter so long to find.
While Zagat is an obvious partner thanks to its restaurant recommendations, the entertainment partnership appeal may not be immediately apparent. But as you can see on the Foursquare page for the movie Valentine’s Day, those promoting the movie have added 50 “Romantic Tips” around the cities that the movie takes place in, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. Any Foursquare user that checks-in at one of these places will unlock a special badge for the movie.
The new HBO show, How To Make It In America, meanwhile, has four special badges that you can unlock: Culture, Living, Cocktails, and Nightlife. Each of these is obtained by visiting venues from the show.
And the Zagat deal is interesting in that it goes beyond simply offering food and restaurant recommendations. The service plans to have a weekly web video series entitled “Meet The Mayor” in which they interview the Foursquare “mayor” of a restaurant in their guide.
Another deal that Foursquare recently signed was with Harvard. And Foursquare is also partnering with Conde Nast’s Lucky Magazine to encourage users to check into select stores during New York’s Fashion Week.
These types of deals are crucial to Foursquare not only because they point to an eventual money-making opportunity, but also because they give the service a way to fend off attacks from Yelp (which just launched a check-in feature on its own iPhone app), and soon Facebook. Meanwhile, these deals give brands a fun way to interact with the public. It’s advertising, but it’s interactive.
Now Foursquare just has to solve that douchebag problem…
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...