While some critics could suggest Foursquare is little more than a way to tell all your mates you go to a certain train station a lot, it is seeing increasing popularity on these shores and sustained success in the states – and the big search players are taking notice.
Talking to The Telegraph, co-founder Dennis Crowley has said that he and his company are in talks with “everyone” in the search space including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. He also reckons that Foursquare offers the kind of data which would be really beneficial for building on search: “Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search – we can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about.
“Foursquare would allow people to search the the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what.”
While Dennis makes a fair point about adding a new layer to the search experience, it would only work with mass adoption and constant use of Foursquare. It’d also mean larger venues with more marketing clout and headline bands would see a trending stream of people that could potentially swamp and drown out smaller independent venues.
There’s potential for search outfits to work together with Foursquare to improve on and provide real-time information about events and venues. Crowley told The Telegraph that he’s mates with the Google blokes, saying he “remains close with the guys at Google” and has employeed a few former Googlers.
He also told The Telegraph that he doesn’t feel threatened by Gowalla, a similar sevice: “We are more social than Gowalla and ultimately have different visions. They are excited about different things.”