This frees up Foursquare’s app, which the company refers to as the “Yelp Killer,” to be a local search tool that serves recommendations tailored to your behavior and preferences.
Using the billions of data points that Foursquare has accumulated about users combined with other signals like lat/long data from ad requests, Foursquare can estimate an individual’s whereabouts and make recommendations based on his or her interests.
Foursquare is also focusing on its local search capabilities as means to attract advertisers. The company already offers several advertising tools, such as a self-service platform for local ads, and advertisers will eventually be able to serve targeted ads on Swarm based on your location, according to Crowley.
The location landscape has become more crowded since Foursquare was founded nearly five years ago, however. Facebook recently launched its Nearby Friends capability, which could provide more data for targeted ads. Google lets advertisers deliver ads tied to Google Map searches and Yahoo recently partnered with Yelp.
Crowley said he’s not concerned.
“Most of the local search tools are broken,” he said. “There’s a good chance everyone will get the same results when they should be tailored on whether you spend a lot of time in this neighborhood or haven’t.”