Foursquare is out today with a double-shot announcement. The company is relaunching its Places Database and introducing a new Places Enterprise API. The former is all about beefing up the data that underlies its core products, while the latter addresses more complex enterprise data needs. Let’s take them one at a time…
First, the Places relaunch marks the completion of Foursquare’s integration of the data that was acquired in its Factual merger. As we wrote at the time, this brings together non-overlapping strengths to create a sort of location-intelligence Voltron. It’s all about exponential gains from additional data sources.
As background, location intelligence providers generally shine in different areas such as audience data, point-of-interest data, and other things that comprise the mosaic of data points for location and movement insights. Building that data set is a years-long process, which Foursquare accelerated with its Factual merger.
The Voltron approach also boosts data reliability and recency, which are key factors. In other words, beyond providing more types of data, beefing up the volume of data sources helps location intelligence players validate and clean their data. This has been the name of the game for Foursquare and its data network.
To boil it down, Foursquare Places now offers
— 95 million global points of interest (POI)
— 89.8% POI fill rate (attribute detail for each place)
— 2-million monthly updates from Foursquare’s first-party and third-party location data network.
— In the past year, 70% of POI’s have been refreshed, with 37 million POI updates since the start of 2021.
As for the Enterprise API, this extends from Foursquare’s existing developer API, which is used by companies like Uber and Twitter to optimize their location tracking and targeting capabilities. The API now has a more robust infrastructure, breadth of applicability, and scaling capability for enterprise users.
The Enterprise API is also all about formalizing Foursquare’s existing moves into enterprise location-data needs. This is an area that continues to expand as location data’s value broadens beyond its original perch as a marketing tool. It’s no longer just about ad targeting and attribution but broader operational needs.
For example, enterprises are deploying location intelligence to better inform supply chain logistics, or decide where to open the next location where their product demand over-indexes. It’s even used by hedge funds to gain an edge by tracking foot traffic patterns around major retailers prior to earnings announcements.
To be clear, these are areas that Foursquare has already penetrated or pioneered. The Enterprise API should formalize and federate its efforts, making them easier to sell and support. And given the expanding breadth of location-intelligence use cases, the API could drive Foursquare revenue growth.
All of the above represents progress within longstanding Foursquare vectors, including data dominance and enterprise growth. Add it up and Foursquare continues its power play of location intelligence. This is an area where value grows exponentially with more data nodes and sources — analogous to a network effect.
Product expansion will also be a key component of Foursquare’s near-term road map. As SVP Josh Cohen tells us, the last year was all about product maintenance, optimization and integration. With its house in order from these efforts, it’s now primed for new growth areas. So look out for more of that from Foursquare.
“The relaunch of Places represents where Foursquare is as a company, and where it is headed,” Cohen says. “Much of the last year has been heavily focused on integration work, and we are now moving forward into new opportunities for growth. Our enhanced Places products demonstrate not only how Foursquare will continue to evolve, but also how we’ll help other enterprises use location as fuel for innovation.”