Foursquare launches iPhone, Android app for merchants

The location-based social network is extending its merchant-friendly tools to iPhone and Android.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read
The Foursquare Business Companion app lets merchants follow customer check-ins and post status updates.
Foursquare today introduced a mobile way for its more than 1 million business users to connect with and follow the check-in activities of the over 30 million people using the location-based social network.

"The Foursquare Business Companion App is another means for merchants to help manage their Foursquare presence without having to be in front of a computer," a company representative told CNET.

Foursquare is a consumer-facing application that people use to share their whereabouts with friends and to discover new places to go. The startup also tries to appeal to local businesses with tools designed to help them manage their digital venue pages and keep up with customers who check in at their locations.

The new business application, available today on iPhone and Android, is an extension of Foursquare's long-standing merchant dashboard and is meant to provide venue owners with a window to what's happening at their stores. The app allows merchants to view recent check-ins and posts at their venues, check out top customers, and turn special offers on or off.

Merchants can also use the application to create and share a Foursquare update with would-be customers, and cross-post that update to Facebook and Twitter. With this feature, the new iPhone and Android companion application extends to mobile Foursquare's merchant status-update option, first introduced in July 2012, and gives businesses the ability be more nimble in how they share photos and messages with people.

Still, it's taken Foursquare, a 4-year-old company, some time to provide its business users -- aka the same audience that will be purchasing the startup's Promoted Updates ad product -- with the most basic of mobile tools for managing their locations.