Foursquare, the social networking geotagging game has just pulled off what may one of its biggest partnership coups yet: It’s snagged the Wall Street Journal as a geolocation ad check-in. It’s a fascinating old media meets new Web media crossover.
It’s been a short while since we’ve heard anything about new Foursquare partners, and when we did it certainly looked like the geolocation game was on the ascendant, starting with partnering Bravo TV and then moving on to bigger fish with HBO, Zagat and finally Condé Nast.
The WSJ’s Foursquare presence is a series of New York based location challenges–with their associated badges (and thanks to other Foursquare tweaks it’s going to be hard to cheat at these). The Urban Adventurer game, requiring you to check in at each of the five New York boroughs, while the Banker badge needs you to check-in in three financial district locations and the Lunch box badge which needs you to check-in at WSJ-reviewed eateries. This last is where the tie-up between Foursquare and the WSJ gets more powerful, since the Lunch Box daily restaurant column will also send tips to Foursquare players.
The upshot, like all of Foursquare’s ad partnerships is that the players get some added fun and the occasional added-value booster, like the Lunch Box tips while the WSJ itself gets to sample some of the hot-to-trot PR goodness of Foursquare, with all its new media excitement. The deal basically cements Foursquare’s business plan as geolocation social network/location-based game with high-value ad placements that distinguish it from other social networks that merely go for the embedded ad option (like Twitter’s new ad venture.)