Will Groupon Make Foursquare Less Fun?

Since Foursquare started encouraging taverns to create check-in specials, bar owners manning the post during slow hours could be found scribbling clever ad copy on the back of a napkin. But now that deals from Groupon and five other companies are starting to populate Foursquare’s app, stumbling upon those fun and whimsical offers may become more of the proverbial needle in the haystack.

AboutFoursquare.com uncovered the new Groupon partnership earlier today. Groupon’s regular daily deals and Now! offers have gone live in Chicago, and New York-based Foursquare said other cities will be rolled out as early as Sunday.

The move comes two weeks after the location-based app brought on board Groupon competitors LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi, and BuyWithMe. Foursquare users will be able to view and purchase the third-party deals by tapping the “Explore” button.

And for seasoned Foursquare aficionados, exploring one’s locale is indeed changing as the platform increasingly monetizes. Whether offers authored by local merchants on the app’s self-service platform will now get lost in the shuffle remains to be seen. While merchants can employ tongue-in-cheek ad copy via Groupon and other deals platforms, “classic” Foursquare do-it-yourself efforts will now have to compete with many more mobile offers.

Here are a couple current examples of fun Foursquare copy by New York City bars.

Gowanus Yacht Club, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn:

gowanusyachtclub

Idle Hands Bar, Alphabet City, Manhattan:

idle-hands

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