foursquarelogoWhen it first came out, Foursquare was a simple app that was meant to be a mere social “check-in” app.  But, like many popular apps these days that had simple beginnings, Foursquare repositioned its app as a real competitor for Yelp.  Now, they are focusing themselves on both “place insights” and “location intelligence” for enterprise.

Pinpoint,” Foursquare’s advertising platform, was introduced earlier this year, and with it, the company works directly with advertisers and makes media buys through exchanges, and then measures offline actions after ad exposures.  This is quite the departure from where Foursquare started, isn’t it?

There is also money being made off of location-data licensing, which includes audience data based on real world store visitations and movements.

When it comes to the evolution of the company, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley said that the company’s data is much more accurate than its competitors’, since hey company has first-party data from 50+ million global users.  Most of the location data from mobile marketing “location intelligence” platforms competitors end up relying on ad calls, which, in the end, is inaccurate.

Crowley said that, “we do this better than anybody else.”  These seem like fighting words to me.  The CEO argues his reasoning by saying that “everybody is drafting off someone else’s data,” with the exception of Foursquare.  In actuality, Foursquare isn’t the only platform that uses location targeting with first-party data.  YP and UberMedia also have first-party location data, but Foursquare has a larger dataset than others, which does, in a way, give them bigger bragging rights.

Because Crowley’s company has developed a “couple thousand” audience segments, marketers are able to target ads via the exchanges.  Foursquare can even provide location/offline attribution on those ads too.  80 percent of the location data is disregarded and discarded due to inaccuracy and poor quality.

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