This week Foursquare finally made adding a venue simple. This is a key step for businesses who want to use the service, and a key step for making Foursquare a lasting contender in the location based services space.
Before the Add A Venue button, Foursquare users on the go had to log in then click through multiple screens trying to get the location and venue right. Making this one click means that users can more easily, efficiently and quickly add their favorite businesses on the go.
For businesses, I highly recommend placing signage up around your establishment asking folks to check in with you on Foursquare. This will encourage people to add you automatically if you aren’t listed, and will encourage passive marketing via check in if you are.
Once folks are checking in to your establishment, you can claim it and start offering tips and specials and incentives for Mayors. What’s a Mayor? It’s Foursquare’s way of encouraging multiple check ins via game mechanics. You stake your claim on your business by going to http://foursquare.com/business – it’s very easy, and will require confirmation from the folks at Foursquare.
Does Foursquare have competitors? Yes, a few, including Gowalla and now, the fairly boring (and only as secure as your network’s tech knowledge) Facebook Places. However, once users adopt Foursquare they are quite loyal to it – the User Interface and game incentives are simply better designed and more fun.