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March 13, 2012

Foursquare Moving Beyond Local To Social Shopping & Discount Recomendation

This year, Foursquare is everywhere at SXSW. among the movers & shakers as they navigate the cacophony of panels and parties that abound. Company founder Dennis Crowley joined Shira Lazar and Zappo’s Tony Hsieh on stage in Samsung’s Blogger Lounge yesterday:

Foursquare, claim to fame remains location ,however company known for its geo location-based social app, is exploring a move that will put those roots in the background as it seeks to instead highlight the trove of data it has collected about its users’ habits.

“We’re in the process now of disassembling the app,” said CEO Dennis Crowley at the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

Foursquare is in the process of moving up its product model from an app used primarily to tell your friends where you are to a tool that any smartphone owner can use for relevant recommendations and discounts at restaurants, coffee shops and museums. If done right, that would mean plenty of revenue-sharing opportunities for Foursquare.

Even though the mobile check-in company is still struggling to make money, it has not stopped growing. Foursquare has about 100 employees, and Mr Crowley said a big area of focus is hiring data scientists, who can take the vast amounts of information the company is collecting from its almost 20 million users and make it useful.

Crowley said the company started noticing that many of its 15 million users weren’t using the app’s main function: a check-in feature that lets people broadcast where they are to their friends. Instead, users are increasingly turning to a feature the company launched in February last year called Explore, which gives users data about places around them that their friends have visited and shows them tips that have been left behind.

We’re part of the fabric of what goes on here. It’s our third year here. We now have 100 employees and 20 million users. We’re on a rocketship course.”