The Financial Times is looking to capitalize on mobile-device junkies’ enthusiasm for collecting Foursquare’s becoming the “Mayor” of their local coffee houses. The British daily, which has ramped up its paywalls recently, is planning a partnership with the location-based social gaming company, according to a report by The Business Insider.
In a partnership with coffee shops frequented by potential FT readers, the paper will allow Foursquare a few users’ check-ins at those spots to reveal a code granting temporary access to the FT.com Web site’s premium services. The Business Insider says the cafes are “located by major financial centers and near business schools including Columbia, Harvard, the London School of Economics, London Business School and London’s Cass Business School.” No word yet on whether Wall Street watering hole Ulysses is participating.
The Financial Times appears to be exploring additional ways to expand its audience even as it puts more content behind a pay wall. The paper is offering a sponsored two-month free period for its iPad app.
The deal could also signal a step forward for the mobile marketing business and may represent a new means for newspapers to partner with affiliated businesses to broaden their audiences. From the perspective of Foursquare, it’s a boon, after some blog-based backlash relating to a rumor that CEO Dennis Crowley turned down a $100-million offer from Yahoo! for Foursquare.