Variable ranges for nearby offers
The check-in service said in a blog post today that they will start to offer variable distances of “nearby offers” – whereas the current range is 200 meters, and may stay that way in densely populated areas – Foursquare will add unspecified variable ranges for less populated areas, which will be a boon for people that routinely drive to places, unlike for example in New York City and San Francisco.
Variable loyalty offers
Foursquare has also make changes in how users will actually see loyalty offers saying:
“Users will no longer see the same loyalty offer (Special offer or Mayor offer) over and over but rather see some variability by seeing rotating offers in the “special nearby” tab.”
This should help to spur people into attempting to take advantage of other nearby offers that before they might not have been aware of as one offer was overriding the others.
Venue employees & redeeming offers
Foursquare made two other announcements that users will be glad to hear about as well. The first, is that businesses will have better control over who they add to their employee list for a venue, in the hopes that this will cut down on employees gaming the system and blocking out customers from getting special offers. Second, Foursquare will start to experiment with new ways to redeem offers, including possibly barcode scanning, in an attempt to take away human error apparently (Foursquare made sure, however, to mention that the ultimate responsibility for these redemptions falls to the merchant).
All of this should come as welcome news to users that look at Foursquare as a means of getting free/cheaper stuff and to merchants, who view Foursquare as a means to bringing people through the doors, time and again (Foursquare mentions a number of success stories in the blog post also, including saying that Starbucks – which was already the #1 checked-into venue on Foursquare, has seen a 50% increase in check-ins since launching their mayor specials).