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Foursquare Merges With Factual

Foursquare Merges With Factual

Two location data companies merged: Foursquare and Factual. Foursquare launched in 2009 at the height of The Great Recession.

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One of the success stories that we highlighted in our new Recession Marketing Guide was Foursquare. They started out as a location checkin app which was really fun for customers. Fast forward a decade, and just today it was announced Foursquare merged with Factual, another leader in location data and advertising. This comes less than a year after Foursquare bought Placed from Snap.

In researching the history of Foursquare three interesting points presented.

1. Competition

They were the leader in the new app driven economy of checkin activity. Businesses of all sizes encouraged customers to check in in a friendly competition to become the mayor of that place. One of their many early competitors was Burbn, another checkin app that allowed people to do a lot of things, including share photos. 

You might not remember Burbn, but I’m sure you know what that app become: Instagram, which is the ubiquitous photo sharing platform that was bought by Facebook in 2012. 


2. Pivot

Foursquare ended up changing their business to focus much more on collecting and selling consumer data. The Factual merger is an example of that strategy but into practice. In one early view into their data prowess Foursquare predicted that Chipotle earnings would be down nearly 30% in 2016. Two weeks later  Chipotle confirmed  that their earnings were in fact down. So, their data modeling based on  real world visitation behavior was proven to be incredibly accurate.

3. Launch

The company launched in 2009 in the midst of The Great Recession. They supported their launch with marketing including press,  PR, and a big announcement at SXSW. Later, during the economic recovery Foursquare used outdoor advertising to grow their user base.

Recession Marketing Guide

For more ideas on marketing in the time of recession we look at our free, or full, Recession Marketing Guide. This report includes

  • 9,500 word guide
  • 90+ pages of slides
  • 3 hour audio and video webinar
  • over 90 different sources and links

This document is relevant for business owners trying to thrive in a down economy, and for marketing agencies who need to understand how they should be advising their clients to market during this rough patch. 

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