Looking to generate much-needed revenue, location-based social network Foursquare is rolling out its ad platform to all small businesses.
Speaking about the significance of its latest feature, the company wrote in a blog post: "We're moving past the days when business owners have to figure out if a "like" or a "click" has any meaning in the real world; now they can tell if someone who saw their ad actually walks into their store."
Creatively named Foursquare Ads, the service allows companies of any size to create an ad by uploading a picture of the business, along with content, either a discount, review or tip. A monthly budget is set and companies are charged only if someone takes action: clicks on the ad to get more information about the business or visits the location.
This move shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. When Foursquare raised its latest round of $41 million in April -- mostly through a loan from Silver Lake Partners -- co-founder Dennis Crowley discussed how he planned to spend the funds on ads and mobile.
Originally, the company had allowed only a handful of big-name companies like Walgreens and Starwood Hotels to utilize Foursquare's platform. In July, the startup opened up its advertisements to a select group of small businesses to participate in beta testing. Now, the business is ready to take it to the next level and capitalize on the 1.5 million business registered.
This latest move comes as the struggling startup looks to bolster its sales and generate some sort of profit for the $112.4 million it has received in capital from investors. And as it was reported earlier this year that Foursquare supposedly only made $2 million in revenue last year, it could use all the help it can get.
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