Foursquare puts its location-based technology into brands' own apps
- Foursquare released a software development kit, Pilgrim SDK, that brings access to its location intelligence and technology for more than 90 million geofenced locations around the world to enterprises, marketers and developers, per a Foursquare blog post on Medium.
- The technology is based solely on mobile devices that have a Foursquare-enabled app installed and doesn’t require beacons or other additional hardware for brands to send contextually relevant messages to users.
- Private beta partners include Capital One, SnipSnap, Raise, Retale, The Coupons App and TouchTones.
Foursquare, one of the original location-based apps, is smart to open up its platform via a software development kit as the importance of location-based marketing grows, giving marketers as a way to reach mobile users with relevant messaging based on their location. By purchasing a commercial license, marketers gain access to Foursquare’s years of development in geofencing locations around the world.
As such, the solution could provide an advantage over beacons, which are Bluetooth-enabled devices that need to be placed inside stores and other physical locations in order for brands to reach mobile users based on their specific location.
The Foursquare solution could open up some interesting engagement opportunities for brands with mobile apps. For example, SnipSnap, a leading coupon app, is sending users reminders to use coupons based on their location. Raise, a gift card marketplace, is doing something similar while Retale and The Coupons App are alerting shoppers to in-store deals.
Following Foursquare's early days of enabling users to become the "mayor" of different locations by checking in via the app, the platform was relatively quiet for several years. Then, late last year it began making news again as it pivots away from being a consumer-facing app and attempts to remake itself as a location-based marketing platform.
In October, it partnered with Snapchat to improve the targeting of the social media app’s geofilter campaigns making those more precise, such as targeting an individual store rather than an entire shopping center. Then in December it announced a partnership with Nielsen for measuring in-store visits that included both Foursquare data and insights from its analysts for users of the tool.