Foursquare finally launches an app for businesses

Foursquare, which is 4 years old and shot to popularity with 30 million users  with its popular “check in” feature , launched its second app “foursquare for business” targeted at its over 1 million business users. this app is an extension of Foursquare’s addition to its merchant tools update from mid 2012, which allowed business owners to better control special offers to nearby customers using a more robust desktop dashboard. This app is however available only for Android and iOS.

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With the app business owners can monitor Foursquare check-in activity, check out top customers, and monitor analytics data, and create an update and post it on Twitter and Facebook simultaneously from their phones. Owners can use it to activate or deactivate specials in addition to uploading new photos, which until now they had to do from their computers. But new specials still have to be created from your computer, once created they can be managed from your smart phones; this is a limitation, which can be expected to be fixed soon.

Previously business owners were able to view information about previous users who checked in during previous three hours, that window has now increased. Now they can view their recent customer’s review post, all time check ins and  check out top customers. This is the most useful aspect of the new app.

To get started business owners will have to claim their location via business.foursquare.com. The foursquare for business app is available for free for iPhones and Android.

The activity tab shows recent visitors and their tips along with updates the business has previously posted. Tapping through to one of the visitor’s profiles shows their photo and the number of times they’ve been there, along with any tips or public photos they’ve added. A separate analytics tab shows the top recent visitors (along with a total number of check-ins and likes).

Under specials, managers can activate and deactivate specials .This should make it easier for managers to activate specials designed to drive business at slow times. A restaurant manager, for example, could see that they have a number of empty tables and immediately turn on a 20% off Foursquare special to try to drive traffic in the door.

Foursquare for Business is designed solely for local managers to update just a few locations (they can switch between them using a button in the top left). Updating an entire chain must still be done on a computer.

The new app shows that foursquare has a sustainable business model and has devised an app to capitalize from all those check ins. In recent months, Foursquare has changed up its privacy policy, introduced user-generated ratings, added a local search engine, and even helped the Mars rover check in on Mars. Foursquare is getting more ambitious to make some real money