Foursquare is looking to become more than just an app for a quick "check-in" at a favorite restaurant or for browsing to see where friends have been lately, and it's doing that by becoming a portal for daily-deals services LivingSocial and YP.com's Deal of the Day.
Foursquare specials allow businesses to give discounts or free items that are usually tied to a user's activity in the app. For example, the "mayor" of a location -- the person who checks in the most -- might get a free drink at a pizza parlor.
The addition of deals will enable users to get "deep discounts that you buy ahead of time," Foursquare said in a blog post announcing its partnerships in the new feature.
LivingSocial, a daily-deals website that may be preparing to file a $1-billion IPO soon, will offer group-buying discounts through Foursquare, as will BuyWithMe and the AT&T-owned YP.com Deal of the Day service, "with 50% off their daily deals" in Atlanta, Los Angeles and the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Foursquare said.
Gilt City will offer "exclusive menus and tickets to sold-out shows," and Zozi will offer "unique experiences and activities like moonlight kayaking, cycling and wine tasting, and shark diving," Foursquare said. Users will start seeing the deals show up this week.
What deals a Foursquare user is offered in-app will depend on where a user checks in and what friends on the service are doing too.
If users find a discounted item they want to buy, they'll be able to do so from within the Foursquare app or while surfing Foursquare.com using a credit card.
For now, the deals are available only in Foursquare's BlackBerry, Android and iOS apps in the U.S., Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But more deals and countries will be added soon, Foursquare said.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: Simulated screen shots of deals offered within the Foursquare app. Credit: Foursquare