Foursquare Hitches Its Wagon to the Coupon Trend

The checkin service will begin offering personalized coupons in July.

Mr. Crowley ( (Photo: Mandel Ngan for AFP/Getty Images)

It’s been a tumultuous past few weeks for New York startups, some of whom are scrapping long-held ideals in order to seek profitability. Looks like it’s time to finally make some money.

Last month, Tumblr announced it will now offer paid ads, a reversal from founder David Karp’s prior opinions about advertising–mainly, that it kind of makes him sick. And today, Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley told the Wall Street Journal that the location-based social network is planning to offer personalized coupons, tailored to each individual user, beginning in July. The news builds on earlier reports about Foursquare’s new paid media platform, scheduled to launch in June.

According to the WSJ, Foursquare:

plans to let merchants buy special placement for promotions of personalized local offers in July in a redesigned version of its app. All users will be able to see the specials, but must check into the venue to redeem them.

This is just one prong of Foursquare’s new money-making strategy; though the actual revenue it will produce is rather questionable, the company also announced last week that it would charge $10 to businesses for instant verification of their accounts.

Of course, a new advertising method doesn’t automatically guarantee loyalty from either local businesses or potential new users. The WSJ also notes that many people still have a “special hatred reserved for Foursquare location check-ins,” a problem that not even a 20-percent-off sushi coupon can solve. Foursquare Hitches Its Wagon to the Coupon Trend