Foursquare, as we reported recently, is getting its revenue story in order in hopes of making money through promoted check-in deals. Now, the company is recruiting some talent to lead the company’s big financial effort with the hiring of Steven Rosenblatt, the former director of advertising sales and strategy at Apple’s iAd. Rosenblatt will serve as Foursquare’s chief revenue officer, according to Ad Age.
Rosenblatt, who was Quattro Wireless’ SVP of advertising sales before it was bought by Apple, told Ad Age that the new paid product will appear mid-summer. He said there will be more ad products launched that will build off a newly redesigned app, set to appear in June.
“A special (offer) is one tactic that could be used by a merchant, but there’s lots of other ways to drive loyalty between merchants and consumers, and that’s what our goal is,” he told Ad Age.
The hiring shows that Foursquare is really working on figuring out the big monetization question that’s been hanging over the location-based service. Foursquare has eschewed traditional banner ads, but like a lot of social networks and publishers, it’s looking for non-obtrusive ways for brands and advertisers to reach out its 20 million users.
With the updated offers product, Foursquare will allow merchants to pay for special placement of personalized local offers. It will also use its Explore technology to better target the offers to users, who will check-ins to redeem them. Currently merchants can list special offers for their location for free, but the new ad product will ensure they can get better reach for their offers. Foursquare also recently announced it would charge merchants $10 to instantly verify their business instead of doing it through the mail. Ultimately, Foursquare is hoping that it can be a paid resource for merchants, helping them draw in new customers and keep them loyal.
Foursquare still has a lot to prove in showing how it can turn its network into a money maker. But with a team that’s well over 100 people now, Foursquare seems to have decided it need a few veterans to lead the charge.