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Foursquare check-ins could have small NYC merchants checking you out with promoted listings

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As it searches for ways to further monetize, Foursquare is setting its sights on small NYC businesses -- according to an AdAge report. The social networking service, which turns the process of gathering user location data into a game of check-in, is allowing just a "handful" of merchants to promote from within the app itself. Previously, only big name chains like RadioShack were capable of paying for sponsored Foursquare listings, but the company's clearly branching out in search of new revenue streams. Foursquare only stands to gain around $0.50 to $3 "per action," however, which means users will have to first find one of these promos (e.g., a rave review, image of a store item / meal or plain promoted listing) from the Explore Nearby section or in recommendations and then actually tap on it. Don't worry, though, these promos won't come at random. Rather, they'll be hyper-targeted based on prior check-in history, user proximity and personal preferences -- all information you've gladly given over to Foursquare to give over to its clients. So you see, it's the circle of our modern day socially networked life. Your habits made into dollar signs, all so you can be Mayor of (insert place here).

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