Mike Isaac

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Foursquare’s New App Is Open for Business

foursquare_app_businessFoursquare launched a new app on Tuesday morning, the company’s second standalone application, and the first aimed squarely at the business side of the market.

The app is an extension of Foursquare’s additions to its merchant tools updates from mid-2012, which allowed business owners to better control special offers to nearby customers using a more robust desktop dashboard.

One problem with that, said Foursquare: If you’re a small outfit, running around your store helping customers willy-nilly, you may not have the time to run back to your computer and update customers with your latest happenings, like turning time-sensitive specials on and off, or pushing those items directly to Facebook and Twitter.

Not sure I buy that argument entirely; if I were running around my shop, I would think I’d type faster on a big keyboard than the smaller one on my smartphone. Still, if I’m out of the shop and on the town, I could see it being a convenient way of pushing out specials to my Foursquare account.

The new app comes at a time when Foursquare faces questions about the long-term sustainability of its business, as it has pivoted to a more discovery-focused model. As it happens, the startup now faces more competition in the space, as Yelp already handles many local discovery queries, and Facebook’s Graph Search seems to push into the discovery space.

Of note: The new app is aimed solely at local business owners, not the major retailers looking to update their specials across an entire chain — those folks still need to update via the desktop.

Head over to the App Store or Google Play to download the new app.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald