Foursquare has introduced a new process for claiming a venue on Tuesday, for a price. The new system has two options. Users can either cough up $10 for the instant verification or wait 10 to 15 business days for snail-mail verification.
Previously, everyone who wanted to claim a venue submitted their Foursquare user ID, the URL of their venue and a link to the venue’s online contact page. What follows after is the Foursquare staff reviewing the information, and sometimes following up with a phone call to the venue.
Companies can now start the process by submitting a phone number, where Foursquare will make an automated call to the number and record the caller's name and name of the business. Those who opt for instant verification are prompted to enter their credit card information online, where everyone else who doesn't want that will be instructed to watch the mail at their venue for further instructions on completing the verification process.
Of course, the advantage of claiming your business is that you can make use of Foursquare's marketing tools, which will have the ability to edit the venue profile, view analytics and offer specials. Foursquare says that about 175,000 businesses have signed up to use these tools, which will remain free for everybody.
The $10 fee is meant to discourage fraudulent claims, not factor into a new business plan.