Local businesses who depend on word-of-mouth marketing could see a boost in foot traffic thanks to Foursquare’s latest update.

The location social network has introduced an Always On feature that lets people receive real-time alerts whenever friends check in to places anywhere in the world. Previously, alerts were only sent for nearby check-ins.

Even if all check-in notifications are turned off, individuals can still receive alerts when friends arrive at a location. For example, a travel blogger’s readers could keep up with his or her trip. However, in order for this feature to work, there has to be a mutual friendship between the two Foursquare members.

This is particularly beneficial for local businesses, as recommendations from friends carry a lot of weight. If an individual sees that a friend checked in nearby, he or she could decide to join in on the fly, or quickly add that location to his or her to-do list on Foursquare.

Foursquare also announced that the Nearby Friends features has been turned back on for Android devices. Now people can switch between All Activity and Nearby Friends to easily keep up with friends in their city.

[Via: VentureBeat , Image credit: Sean Salmon]