Time Out New York's newest Foursquare effort underscores how increasingly serious the magazine and other media companies are about combining traditional publishing with mobile.
"There's a utility to having content available on mobile that we really want to tap into," Janet Caputo, social media marketing director at Time Out, told ClickZ News. "It's a really big goal [going forward]. We are definitely taking mobile more seriously."
The magazine's cover this week includes its second badge effort, dubbed "King of New York", on the geo-social app. Foursquare users can lay claim to the badge by checking into three of the 50 locations appearing in Time Out's "Best of New York City" list. The users can also compete to sit atop the the initiative's leaderboard by contributing tips about bars, restaurants, and other venues.
What's more, the print publication will feature the top three Foursquare "Best of New York City" tips players each week for the next year. To be considered for the magazine showcase, the users have to link their Foursquare accounts to Facebook and Twitter.
The initiative builds on Time Out's 18-month Foursquare run, which began with its "Happy Hour" badge. The magazine was also a brand launch partner when the geo-social app introduced its Tip Lists feature during August.
Time Out New York now has nearly 63,000 Foursquare followers and ranks No. 51 among brands, according to Foursquarebrands.com. For comparison, the New York City-only publication ranks ahead of national brands such as Rolling Stone, The Daily Show, and business tech magazine Fast Company.
"The Tip Lists have really helped skyrocket our growth very recently," Caputo said. "We saw something in the neighborhood of a [25 percent] growth in the last couple of months."
Highlighting how targeting on-the-go consumers has become increasingly important to Time Out, Caputo said the magazine planned to release a new version of its mobile app in the coming months that will include advertising/sponsorship opportunities. In addition, she said the publication was considering developing its first iPad app.
"We are trying to leverage the Time Out brand and round out our presence on all the different digital platforms," the social media marketing director said. "The two pillars of digital for me are social and mobile. Foursquare is a part of both of those pillars. I think there is an inherent utility to our content that can be used on the go. Our readers like lists - they like to read about what there is to do."
Caputo's magazine is far from the only media company to test Foursquare since geo-social app began gaining traction in spring 2010. The History Channel, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NBC's The Today Show are among other major examples.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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