Foursquare’s Location Data Can Now Power Brands’ Mobile Apps

Capital One and Retale have tested it

Foursquare is getting into the marketing software game. Foursquare
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For the past couple of years, Foursquare has been positioning itself as a serious business-to-business data player that connects digital ads with offline sales and works with companies like Snapchat and Nielsen to power location features and ad tracking. Now it’s starting to license that data to brands.

Today, the company is launching its own software development kit (or SDK) called Pilgrim SDK that allows marketers to plug its mapping data from more than 90 million locations into their own apps. The SDK uses the same technology that Foursquare has used for years to collect rich stats for its flagship and Swarm apps.

“Forget about beacons: there’s no hardware required,” wrote Foursquare’s president Steven Rosenblatt in a blog post. “It’s the first technology of its kind and the foundation of Foursquare’s consumer and enterprise solutions. And now we’re ready to start sharing the power beyond the walls of Foursquare.”

Pilgrim is Foursquare’s piece of technology that runs in the background of the company’s apps to ping out push notifications that recommend nearby locations in the Foursquare City Guide app and remind users to check-in through the Swarm app. Pilgrim uses mobile signals like beacons, Wi-Fi and GPS and connects them with its own first-party data. Such first-party stats include foot traffic numbers from more than one million U.S. consumers who have agreed to have their data tracked and included in a research panel and more than 11 billion check-ins.

Foursquare said that Capital One has beta tested its data in the bank’s Wallet app to trigger push notifications. Axel Springer-owned Retale, mobile coupon app SnipSnap and Raise—a gift card marketplace app—have also experimented with Foursquare’s stats.

Moreover, Pilgrim is plugged into attribution platforms including Urban Airship, mParticle and Appboy that marketers use to manage their mobile apps.

“We’ve always wanted to be able to accurately remind users of the coupons available the minute they enter a store,” said Ted Mann, founder of SnipSnap in a statement. “Pilgrim SDK gave us a method to deliver this functionality for all our users in a programmatic way—no need to manually configure geofences.”

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.