Today has been a busy day for mobile check-in service foursquare. We told you that foursquare information was now popping up in Bing search results, which helps you explore a bit more to find a cool spot.

Now, the company has introduced a new feature called “Local Updates” that allows the businesses you frequent to connect with you when they something interesting going on. The company says that nearly 1M businesses have claimed their venue on foursquare, which is pretty impressive.

Here’s what the company had to say about it:

Starting today, you’ll start seeing updates in your friends tab from the places where you’re a loyal customer. It’s an easy way to keep up with news from places you frequent, including things like new specials, pictures of the latest shipment of shoes, or a serendipitous food truck appearance. The best part is there’s no extra work for you to do: we already know you care about a place if you’ve checked in often or liked it, and will show you updates from it when you’re in the same city. If you change your mind and don’t want updates from a business any more, you can turn them off with one tap.

 Foursquare isnt just for exploring, with Local Updates you can connect with nearly 1M merchants

This is a pretty cool feature, but could catch some users by surprise. Right now, the only way to interact with anyone on foursquare has been via comments on check-ins or by tips on venues. This is basically a new ad model for foursquare, as well, letting venues send out conversational updates on the fly that don’t disrupt the flow of the app.

It’s very interesting to watch the service “grow up” and become more of a two-way social network for businesses everywhere.