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Foursquare is out with a new tool for businesses that should make it easier to sign up and use the service, which already serves 250,000 businesses, according to GM Evan Cohen, who was speaking at ILM East. Foursquare has also rolled out various Explorer tools that allow consumers to track trends.

Cohen said Foursquare has developed relationships with tens of thousands of businesses on both the national franchise side and local SMB side. It targets both equally because that’s the way consumers actually do things, he said. To date, there have been 381,576,305 check-ins in every country. The record result was 30,525 check-ins at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s rally to restore sanity.

Cohen also noted that the company is being cautious in its strategy of publishing local business coupons. “There is a danger of coupons becoming a little bit marginalized if it is overwhelmingly about the $100 off space, or 80 percent,” he said. Those consumers are never coming back. Such a heavy discount “big front end” model like “Groupon and its 400 competitors. I’m not sure how sustainable the demand is for that.” Ultimately, it is not about cents off, but about experience and recognition, said Cohen.

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