Foursquare, the location-based social media site, is aware of the value of its data for searches and has started talking to "a lot of different potential partners," including industry majors such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in order to clinch data deals.
Speaking to The Telegraph in an interview, Foursquare's co-founder, Dennis Crowley, said: "Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search." "We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment," he explained.
"Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to - and where is trending - not what," Crowley added. Recently, the company integrated its data to Twitter 'Places', giving the chirpy platform its ticket to paid search.
Crowley himself has ties with Google, to whom he sold Foursquare's text-message version called Dodgeball back in 2005. The Telegraph further quoted him as saying that he now employs "former Googlers." However, none of the search engines commented on the state of the Foursquare partnership talks.
Ironically, Yahoo had expressed interest in the company in April. But not for teaming up with Foursquare. The intention of the search engine now turned content provider was to buy Foursquare. Now with the Search Alliance integrating Yahoo Search into Bing, who knows if Foursquare will not be dealing with both - one as a content partner and the other as search engine?
Media/Layered Content Deals
For the time being, Foursquare has mostly been getting involved with content providers, such as the Independent Film Channel (IFC) or the Huffington Post. Such agreements allow the respective parties to cross-integrate data layers and provide contextualized information to users when they check in. The latest deal was just signed with the publication New York, along the same lines as the two others. "The magazine's roughly 7,000 Foursquare followers can get tips and suggestions for approximately 5,000 restaurants, 1,600 bars and 5,500 stores listed on the site," MediaPost reported. Time Out New York and Bon Appetit also have signed in with Foursquare earlier this year. In Asia, the company has entered a partnership with Refinery Media.
Localeze A Potential New Partner?
As part of its Twitter deal, the social LBS firm is feeding its data alongside that of Localeze, the local search business directory management service. It's not clear whether the two firms also separately entered an agreement separately from the Twitter integration. When we spoke to Localeze earlier this week, its VP marketing, David Dague told us that "social deals" were to be announced soon, so Foursquare could well be one of those in the pipeline.
One thing seems clear: Foursquare has no intention to team up with rival Gowalla. Crowley told The Telegraph: "We are more social than Gowalla and ultimately have different visions moving forward. They are excited about different things."