Foursquare has talked about evolving beyond the check-in, but that doesn’t mean the check-in is dead. Now the location-based social network is adding event check-ins for locations featuring movies, sporting events and concerts.
The update provides a new dimension to Foursquare, giving a fuller look at what a person is doing at a particular place. It also simplifies the check-in process by including event information along with location data. It’s something many people already do themselves, but it can be a pain to type in extra information if you just want to check in quickly. Foursquare said it will enable event check-ins at more than 50,000 venues through partnerships with ESPN for sporting events, Movietickets.com for movies and Songkick for concerts.
So for instance, when you check in at Yankees stadium, Foursquare will recognize that you’re likely at the game if it’s in session, and will broadcast the event information in your check-in. It also means that if you’re at a movie theater, you’ll get a chance to say which movie you’re attending, which can serve as a recommendation to other users.
You can see why this is intriguing for Foursquare’s partners. It can drive interest in these events and their services and can help lure in consumers. ESPN, for example will include game time, teams and venue details, as well as news and information about the game. After the game is over, it provides a link for people to get more info from ESPN.
Foursquare previously tried this at South by Southwest, and it was a hit. It seems like a logical extension of the platform, and a way to help it become more useful for people. Users can more easily share what they’re doing, and people will be better able to follow along, and make decisions based on shared info.
It’s unclear what Foursquare is getting out of the partnerships in the way of revenue, but the company at least gains a way to differentiate itself as more than just a location check-in service. It also strengthens the ties Foursquare has with brands, something the company’s also been trying with its self-serve brand pages.
The service is still primarily about real-life events, and not necessarily about checking into a TV show or some broadcast event. That’s in keeping with Foursquare’s goal of being a real-world guide for cities, as does its recently announced introduction of user-curated lists of places.
Foursquare still doesn’t have a huge revenue engine. But by lining up more partners and becoming a place where brands can link up with consumers, we’re seeing how Foursquare can start to build a successful business model. The company still has a ways to go to show it’s worth its lofty valuation, but at least it appears to be working hard on coming up with ways to make money.
The update is live now for the Foursquare iPhone app and the web and will come to other platforms soon.