foursquare Tweaking Brand Pages with an Eye Toward Monetization

foursquare is looking to ramp up the use of its brand pages, ramping up some cash flow for itself in the process.

AdAge reported that the location-based mobile app is revamping its pages application for brands this week, allowing for users who check in to contribute content in addition to their check-ins.

And the New York Post reported that foursquare will begin charging its 500,000 or so registered merchants for use of its suite of services.

The new foursquare brand pages will allow users to follow other users, without becoming friends, allowing for greater interaction than leaving tips on brand pages. Users who wish to gain the ability to be followed must leave at least five tips, as well as add a picture to their foursquare accounts, according to AdAge.

foursquare also streamlined the process for brands to set up pages, AdAge reported, saying that while the previous process involved account requests via Excel documents that were handled by one-dozen staffers, authentication is now enabled via Twitter account.

Product manager Noah Weiss told AdAge, “We were seeing 70 new brand-page sign-ups per week with the old system. When we launch this, anyone will be able to create a brand page that can be followed.”

As for foursquare’s coffers, the company closed a $50 million funding round in June, and co-founder Naveen Selvadurai told the Post the money would go toward a new platform that will benefit both businesses and users, adding that since merchants are seeing benefits from check-ins by users, “Now we’re able to close that circle. [The check-in] comes back to me in forms of recommendations. It goes back to [users] in interesting ways.

Media liaison Erin Gleason told the Post, “The [merchant] tools allow you to claim your venue and start running specials and see the dashboard. That’s all free right now, but it’s obviously very valuable data. So in the future, when it’s a little more robust, we see the potential to monetize that.”