Foursquare gets requests from hundreds of brands per week looking to offer tips on their own branded profiles. In an interview with Advertising Age, CEO Dennis Crowley said the company is building a self-service tool where brands will be able to create their own profiles.
The current process for getting a branded page requires submitting an application to foursquare, who then must approve and manually create each one. The new tool will allow any brand to begin offering tips to foursquare users. Branded profiles are especially popular among companies that don’t have physical locations, like TV networks and magazines, or those that want to offer curated tips to their visitors, like universities or museums.
“We’re building self-service tools that allow brands to come in and say, ‘Oh, well I want to claim this particular brand on foursquare. I want to make my brand page. I want to add a whole bunch of tips. This is the experience I want to curate.’ And doing that in a way that we, foursquare the company, doesn’t need to be involved with it,” Crowley told Advertising Age. “They can just go ahead and do it on their own. I think that’s great because it opens it up for other folks for experimentation. It allows more brands to get in; we’re no longer the gatekeepers. I think it’s really just going to encourage folks to play with the service.”
The main difference between branded profiles and regular user profiles is that users can “follow” a brand, rather than becoming friends with them. It’s a one-way process that’s easier for both users and brands to complete, similar to “liking” a page on Facebook. Branded profiles also get a description box, a header image and their profile shows all the tips they’ve added instead of just those in the user’s current city.
In addition to branded profiles, foursquare is tweaking the self-serve tool for claiming venues. Crowley also spoke about the changes coming to the game itself:
“We really want to revisit a lot of the stuff that we’ve been doing with game mechanics, and points and badges. Really there’s a laundry list of things that need to get fixed in the service.”
Brands are already coming up creative ways to use their profiles â€” from coupon reminders to movie trivia â€” that add value for users. Opening up branded profiles will make it easier for them to become involved and get users to follow them.
Here’s the full video interview from Advertising Age: