True ads have arrived on Foursquare — but, as you'd expect, there's a twist. The social network focused on check-ins and recommendations is now rolling out full-page ads in its mobile apps, according to AdAge. There are limitations, however, so don't expect obtrusive banner ads. Instead, the new ads pop up immediately after a user checks in at a particular location, and they'll either offer a relevant suggestion or coupon. For instance, Captain Morgan is one of the early partners on board and its ads will recommend you order a Captain and cola, for instance, when you check in to a bar. Another ad detailed today offers a coupon at Toys 'R' Us when users check in to related locations, like a playground.
Foursquare has been very careful about how it monetizes. The company has amassed a sizable user base of 35 million, but skeptics have long questioned how Foursquare could effectively monetize its service. Last year the company introduced promoted updates, which operated much like Google AdWords. The sponsored posts would show up when users searched for a place to go, and advertisers would pay Foursquare if users clicked through. Foursquare also works with businesses to offer coupons and other promotions. All of the different types of ads, including the ones introduced today, focus on relevancy. To-date that has helped the company make sure ads don't scare away users, but as the Foursquare dives in to full-page units we'll have to see if it can pull off the same feat.