Last month, we wrote about Foursquare’s potential from a business perspective thanks to its location data. This week, the service has started actively tapping that potential by alerting users when locations close to them are offering special deals.
As you can see in the image, a large blue alert now appears at the bottom of check-in pages on Foursquare’s iPhone app to let you know if there is a deal at a place close to the place where you currently are. With the headline “mayor offer nearby”, these deals reward mayors of particular places.
Users can become the “mayor” of a location on Foursquare by checking in at a place more than any other user over a 60 day period. For businesses, that’s obviously something that would be good to reward. And something like a free beer seems like a very small price to pay for getting people excited about coming to your place more often.
While there aren’t a lot of places offering these mayor deals yet, a number of establishments in New York and San Francisco (the cities where the service is most popular) are starting to pop up. There have also been some deals in places like LA and Denver.
In confirming that Foursquare is now actively promoting these mayor deals, co-founder Dennis Crowley also tells us that they’re working on doing some new “ad system stuff” for the app, but didn’t elaborate on that. It seems logical Foursquare will eventually partner up with local businesses to notify users of other types of deals — basically, a location-based coupon system.
Crowley also confirmed that a new version of the iPhone app, 1.4, should be out soon with a lot of new “bells and whistles.” One of those new features will be the ability to see who else is checked in at a place that you’re checked in to. That should do wonders for new friend discovery.
And Crowley sounds excited about the new Twitter geolocation API announced today. He says they’re going to try to squeeze some of it into the new build if they can. As I noted earlier, it would be a great feature if when you tweet out your Foursquare check-ins, it could also attach the location of the place so people reading your tweets don’t have to manually look it up.