Is Being A B2B Data Provider Foursquare's True Calling?

Chris CrumBusiness

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Foursquare is looking to do more with its location data on the B2B front. The company is touting its Location Cloud offering, which it calls "the most complete set of place data and geo-technology powering the digital world."

"Location data is more than just a point in space or set of latitude and longitude coordinates. By aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of smartphone sensor data, businesses can understand consumers, predict behaviors, and identify trends," it says on the offering's homepage. "Our Location Cloud gives businesses the tools and intelligence to reach new customers, build smarter apps, and bring local context to global markets."

Location Cloud is broken down into three main categories - Connect, Build, and Analyze - which make use of two main Foursquare products - Pinpoint and Foursquare Places.

For Connect, it's all about Pinpiont, which Foursquare says marketers can leverage along with its native location-based ads to "connect the digital and physical worlds." Businesses can reach custom audiences at scale with what the company refers to as the most accurate location intelligence.

Foursquare launched Pinpoint last month as a full-service ad solution powered by Foursquare's location data. The company uses these stats to market that:

Foursquare already has major brands including Samsung, AT&T, FedEx, Land Rover, Wild Turkey, Olive Garden, Coors Light, and Choice Hotels on board with Pinpoint. Other businesses request a demo.

Under Build, Foursquare talks about how businesses can create location-aware apps and tap into its POI database with over 65 million venues. It's targeting this functionality to both startups and enterprises.

Both Build and Analyze are where Foursquare Places comes in. It's offering Places Database and Places Insights.

"65 million global points of interest is just the start — Foursquare’s Places Database has enough detailed information about places that you can use us as your end-to-end location solution," the company says of the former. "Whether you’re looking to fill the map inside your app with pins or enhance your existing POIs with rich Foursquare metadata, license parts or all of our global Places Database instead of recreating the wheel."

Places Insights lets businesses work one-on-one with Foursquare on a dataset to help them answer questions they have about places or trends.

"Understand business and local trends like never before through Foursquare proprietary data and our larger panel of foot traffic signals," Foursquare says. "Place Insights provides a layer of time-sensitive signals above our raw POIs that enables any kind of analysis, from ranking sales leads in the markets you care about to uncovering the hot just-opened venue you might have missed around the corner."

Foursquare's "Snap-to-Place" APIs let developers find POIs based on how Foursquare sees places, which is as actual shapes with geometry and relevancy that change based on time of day, popularity, and other signals.

Place Shapes from Foursquare on Vimeo.

Foursquare has already partnered with Twitter, Pinterest, Microsoft, and Garmin on Places.

Co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley talked about all of this in an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt.

According to Crowley, the Location Cloud is one of the company's "core assets," and the Foursquare and Swarm apps will continue to feed it. We're going to start hearing the company talk a lot more about the offering from the sound of it.

"What we've build is valuable to a lot of players," said Crowley. "We didn't expect to turn into a data licensing company, but that's a big part of our revenue story. We didn't expect for the API to be as successful as it is, but we've got more than 80,000 developers that are using it."

He basically said that given the data Foursquare has amassed, he feels like it's their job to provide these kinds of services on a B2B basis.

Image via Foursquare

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.