Check-in firm gives one million local and national businesses the option to pay for push messages.
Foursquare has arrived at the point in its garlanded lifespan when the question of how to make money cannot be delayed any longer.
The firm has 20m users wandering into various locations, checking in and trying to become mayors and other virtual dignitaries of these spaces.
Foursquare has shunned ads and fiddled with branded promotions without huge monetary success. So hopes are pinned on this new idea, which was touted in May. It comes shortly after the launch of local updates, which is free.
Promoted updates work when users click the Explore tab on their Foursquare mobile app to reveal promoted updates from nearby businesses. It only alerts users who have visited, liked or interacted with similar businesses or had friends that did so.
Merchants meanwhile pay only when a user acts on an offer.
The service will be tested first by about 20 businesses including Gap, Old Navy, Hilton, Hertz, Best Buy and Walgreens.