Foursquare is taking a new direction towards the B2B industry with the release of two new services called Foursquare Location Cloud, and Places by Foursquare. The new services turn the check-in app into a location-based Big Data generator, and so far there are over 80,000 developers working with it.
The Location Cloud is a massive repository for all of Foursquare’s location data and geotechnology. It allows users to analyze the vast stores of data to better understand customers, predict behaviours, and identify trends while offering the tools to reach new customers, and bring local context into the global environment, according to the company’s website.
Places by Foursquare, on the other hand, is a database containing over 65 million points of interest and the company says it can be be used as an end-to-end location solution where businesses can tap into vast amounts of data and discover trends. It uses Foursquare’s Build and Analyze apps to extract useful insights from the data which comes not only from Foursquare devs, but other companies such as Microsoft, CityMaps, and Garmin.
Foursquare certainly has loads of data to share. According to the app’s website it has 55 million users worldwide contributing location-based information such as check-ins and reviews. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley has indicated in an interview with TechCrunch that he feels an obligation to make this data and other services available to the B2B world.
Foursquare hasn’t been transparent about its revenue figures, but CRO Steven Rosenblatt said in an interview with GeoMarketing that revenue is doubling every year. If that’s true, such growth could be why Yahoo has been rumoured to be looking at buying Foursquare to the tune of $900 million. Doing so would give Yahoo all the troves of location data that Foursquare has housed in its various apps.
Overall, things are looking up for Foursquare although it took them a long time to reach this point. The app was first released in 2009 but wasn’t commercialized until 2011 because they had to build all their own technology rather than rely on what SDKs and APIs Apple and Google put out.
In May 2014 the app repositioned itself by splitting into two separate apps: Swarm and Foursquare. Swarm is used for check-ins while Foursquare itself is now the business discovery engine. In February that same year, Foursquare secured $162 million in funding from Microsoft valuing the company at $600 million.
The new Cloud and Places services aim to give businesses access to massive troves of data which they can use to their advantage. It’s just one more database in the ever-evolving world of Big Data.