Foursquare to relaunch Instapaper for places feature

Foursquare a little over a year ago tried launching an “Add to Foursquare” embeddable button for web publishers, which allowed users to save venues to their to-do list in Foursquare. The service died out after a few months after publishers gave up on the feature.

But now Foursquare is poised to relaunch Add to Foursquare under the new name Save to Foursquare in the next month. The button should work similarly for users, but will be a lot easier to implement for publishers. In the past, publishers got bogged down coding each story or review and syncing them with a Foursquare location, which slowed down the whole process and forced most to give up. Now, publishers just need to add one line of code to their content management system to automate the process.

“From a publisher’s perspective, it’s a no brainer,” Even Cohen, general manager of Foursquare told me today at the Street Fight Summit in New York. “You can take the content on the web and put into a user’s pocket.”

Less than a hundred publishers tried the original implementation of Add to Foursquare. But with the new update, Cohen believes thousands will sign-up now. He said it will help publishers extend their relationships with online users into the real world. And it will make a lot of the content online less fleeting by helping people save it and act upon it later.

For Foursquare, it also creates a great way to add more functionality, particularly for the new Lists feature. Now users can easily populate to-do lists with places they’ve seen around the web. Even top ten lists can all be transferred into Foursquare with one button click. And with the new Radar function in the recent 4.0 update, they can get alerts when they pass nearby places that they wanted to visit.

“I think this makes Foursquare more usable. We’re trying to be more of a utility and inspire people to use the app more,” said Cohen.

It will be interesting to see if publishers do respond in a big way, but simplifying the process should go a long towards winning them over. It puts more value into the content they produce and really does allow them to carry their relationship further with consumers. I think it’s a smart move for Foursquare, which is turning into more of a broad location utility for users. As I mentioned before, the gaming side of Foursquare and other location services is receding and we’re seeing more real value and tools come to the surface that shows the importance of location. And making it Instapaper-like easy to remember places should help encourage people to go out more and explore their world.