Foursquare Tests Free Meals

Foursquare took a step forward today: the first official ‘Foursquare mayor eat for free’ marketing operation was launched by a local venue. Techcrunch spoke with Foursquare’s director of business development, who said that 400 stores across the US are already running regular geo-targeted promos with Foursquare.

Foursquare seems to dramatically increase in popularity, but the company never mentions the number of users on the network. The business model being tested here fits a scenario where the volume of users goes way beyond a few million. By the time Foursquare breaks through those numbers, Google has time to see it coming and start to conceptualize a Places/Latitude mashup. Maybe by then Facebook will have implemented a similar geo-targeted feature for its Page product (since we are all longing to see what Facebook will do location-wise). Even MerchantCircle could theoretically implement this feature for their users, business owners.

Will This model be convincing enough to make mobile check-ins the center of attention? Are “free meals” daring enough? Foursquare holds the credibility of a possibly huge advertising stream in-between their hands: May they not drop it.