Advertisers who want to buy using Foursquare’s segments will go through Foursquare, which leverages its place-based insights to come up with segments. It could look at the location history for people who visited a restaurant chain, for example, to find out if the eaters there tend to frequent other types of restaurants or venues.
The Pinpoint model is “a managed service with programmatic elements,” Rosenblatt said. Additionally, Foursquare is creating a private marketplace featuring premium content partners for advertisers who want brand-safe inventory.
While Foursquare users know their location data is being tracked, the average smartphone user may not. To alleviate privacy concerns, Foursquare will not allow brands to do real-time targeting based on location. It’s also why Foursquare is creating aggregate segments (“business travelers”) vs. targeting on the individual user basis.
It’s hoping that this location data, tied to meaningful locations, will speed up brands’ shift to mobile. “We believe the same way search unlocked dollars to desktop, location will unlock dollars to mobile,” Rosenblatt said.