One of the neat things about Foursquare is that it allows you to get tips from your friends about nearby venues. Tips are typically about things like the best time to go, what to order, what to avoid, etc.
In the world of user generated content, tips from friends are better from tips from strangers.
But what about editorial content from brands with local expertise?
Our friends over at ReadWriteWeb alert us to a new service called Location Layers from Foursquare that allows Foursquare users to subscribe to brands like the IFC and Huffington Post, and get tips from those brands about specific venues delivered via push notification.
Here is why I think this is important.
1) It’s another way for brands to work with Foursquare beyond the sponsored badge
2) It’s another way for end users to interact with brands via Foursquare
3) It represents a way for brands to deliver their editorial, local content to end users in the context of an end user’s location
4) It represents a way for Foursquare to get more high quality content into its ecosystem.
Brand tips are still delivered upon check-in, via push notification – just like they are from your friends. Even before today, any brand could have set up their own Foursquare account, written a whole bunch of tips, and encouraged their user base to friend them.
Presumably, however, Foursquare is allowing the batch import of tips from brand partners, that are delivered to end users based on whether the end user is following that brand.
Brands win by getting a new distribution channel for their content. Foursquare wins by placing itself between the brand and the end user, and by acquiring high quality content for its users. End users win by getting more access to high quality local content.