More media companies are "checking in" to Foursquare and the general trend of location-based services. In the past week, three more publishers have partnered with Foursquare to pair their content with location venues on the social service.
It looks like the outreach has paid off, as publishers are continuing to pair up with the location-based social networking site, providing more depth of content than ever before. In the past week at least three new publishers have signed on: The New York Daily News
, USA Today
Pairing relevant content with location
For many media companies, sites like Foursquare are an opportunity to pair tip-based, entertainment-oriented local content with specific venues. Gannett's USA Today
began using Foursquare to allow users to “discover travel hotspots and hidden treasures across the country.” The publication is already using Foursquare competitor Gowalla
for a similar purpose. "USA Today has always been a traveler's companion, so Foursquare is an obvious fit for us," Victoria Borton, general manager of USA Today Travel, said in the announcement.
In one of the more expansive examples of pairing content with location, hyperlocal site Examiner.com
is using Foursquare to surface local tips on nearby venues, restaurants, events, businesses and landmarks, based on insight and recommendations from the site's army of 68,000 contributors, a.k.a. Examiners. The newly unveiled Foursquare content will be a blend of relevant articles selected by editors along with content submitted for review by Examiner.com contributors, explained Suzie Austin, senior VP of content and marketing for Examiner.com.
“Examiners create over 3,000 articles each day on a variety of local subjects, and a large percentage of those will be relevant for tips on Foursquare,” Austin said in an e-mail. “While some may be motivated to create an article based on a Foursquare check-in, one of the key reasons to work with Foursquare was that this content was already being created naturally.”
Other publishers are finding creative ways to provide archived content for the Foursquare portal. For instance, users following The New York Daily News
on Foursquare can check into a New York location on their mobile phones and discover old photos of the location from the newspaper's archives. They've found a new use for the photo morgue.
Business objectives for Foursquare content?
At this point, publishers' Foursquare efforts seem focused on increasing exposure. “The addition of Foursquare tips complements our local strategy by increasing our presence in each neighborhood, and drives traffic as a whole to our Examiner’s original content,” Austin said.
But the company is also looking into advertising opportunities, using Examiner.com's advertising platform, Examiner Connect, which combines paid media with original content. “We have already integrated several of our social media platforms into Examiner Connect with sensational results, leveraging the program for brands like Iams, HGTV and Home Depot. We’re excited to start exploring opportunities with the Foursquare platform as well,” Austin said.
Foursquare isn't the only location-based service publishers can use to package content, but it has the broadest consumer adoption. Outside of partnerships, more publishers are experimenting with using geolocation in their own apps (Playboy, for example, is experimenting with gelocation-based push notifications
Until recently, location-based services
have been more hype than reality in the media world ― understandably so, because, despite the impressive growth of Foursquare
, the vast majority of consumers don't use location services and there isn't always a direct monetary incentive for publishers. But, slowly but surely, the mindset of many publishers is shifting to more location-oriented content.