Foursquare, the geolocation social tool, has been a media darling as of late. Not only is it growing, but people innately understand the monetization model, which is not something you can say about every social site and tool. As people “check in,” or report where they are to their networks, Foursquare serves them offers from nearby businesses. It’s a win-win-win situation: Businesses can market to people who are able to immediately take action; Foursquare earns revenue; and users get valuable offers they can use.
But Starbucks’ current program on Foursquare may kill the goose that lays the golden eggs (or at least demonstrate how that goose may die a slow, lingering death of neglect). I believe (and I’m curious if you agree) that Starbucks’ ubiquity combined with the offer’s difficult redemption is decreasing attention for Foursquare’s other offers. If other large chains follow suit with similar promotions, those “Special Nearby” tabs within Foursquare’s mobile apps won’t get as much notice, and that means problems for advertisers on the Foursquare platform.