One surefire way to know that a service is doing well is when you see their buttons start appearing all over the web. We’ve seen it with Facebook, we’ve seen it with Twitter (Tweetmeme buttons), and now we’re going to start seeing it with Foursquare.
To be clear, the “Add to Foursquare” buttons aren’t designed to be as ubiquitous as some of the other sharing buttons around the web. Instead, this button allows content providers to give readers one-click access to add venues to their Foursquare to-do list. The first such partner that is testing this out is the Wall Street Journal. Beginning today, the newspaper’s site will feature these buttons next to venues featured in articles (specifically, in restaurant reviews and other cultural coverage).
Along with the venue being added to a to-do list on the click of that button, there will also be a tip written by a WSJ editor that gets populated on on user’s Foursquare page. That tip will contain a link back to the article about the venue, so it will drive traffic back to WSJ as well, we’re told.
This button will only appear on WSJ for now, but “we’re definitely interested in finding a way to scale the feature in the future so other brands can take advantage of it,” a Foursquare spokesperson tells us. Foursquare declined to say if this was a revenue producing deal for them.
In some ways, this Add to Foursquare button seems more like Twitter’s new At Anywhere button. As we noted, it’s less about directly sharing, and more about extending the features of the site to the rest of the web. I know that I often read about new restaurants online but never remember to put them in my Foursquare to-do list — so this makes a lot of sense.
Update: You can see the button in action on this page.