If you notice a lot more people using Foursquare to "check in" at your business, you can most likely thank Foursquare itself for the influx in social-media action. The company has made it possible for individual users to check in the friends they are with in addition to themselves.
Here's how it works: When a user checks in, he or she can click on the new "I'm with …" button, scan a drop-down list of friends and then select the ones he or she is with at your business. The first time a user attempts to check in a friend, that friend will receive a notification requesting permission to let him or her check them in. Once permission is granted, the person will be checked in and that friend will be able to check him or her in at other locations in the future.
If a user declines to be "checked in," he or she can still be tagged using Foursquare's "mentions" feature.
"Instead of you and four friends each pulling out your phone to check in at dinner, now one of you can do it for everyone," Foursquare wrote in a blog post announcing the new feature. "Less time spent on your phone, more time enjoying the moment."
With more check-ins, businesses may be better able to attract new customers and engage returning customers. Foursquare users can update their settings and then download the free update on iPhone and Android.