The FT is a high-profile advocate of the paywall system, charging readers a subscription fee to access its articles and archives. This deal shows the paper has an eye on the future, both refreshing its staid image to attract younger readers, and trying out the potential of social media as an adjunct to subscription models.
Foursquare is part location-based status, part community-based recomendation engine, part game. Once signed up, you use the Foursquare app and GPS on your iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone, or other device to 'check in' wherever you are. You add tips and recommendations to whatever shops, bars and other locations you visit. You then earn points and unlock badges as you get more involved, with the ultimate aim of becoming 'mayor' of each location. Sounds like silly beggars to us, but these things always do and we're always addicted five minutes later.
Mayors of selected cafes near universities and business centres can win a limited number of codes for a premium FT.com subscription. A premium subscription costs £260 per year and gives access to the full range of articles plus a mobile news reader, an epaper version of each daily edition, and assorted newsletters and commentary. A £170 subscription accesses articles and archives. Free access lets you read up to ten articles per month.
Business Insider reports that locations will include cafes near the London School of Economics and Cass School of Business, as well as Columbia and Harvard. The deal will commence when the Foursquare app is updated in the next few weeks.
The FT is also one of several national newspapers working on its own app for the iPad, expected on 26 April.