After struggling with investments for some time, Foursquare is now looking to gain the support of advertisers by launching two products that provide the ability to target ads based on where users check in. The goal is to eventually serve interstitial ads through the Foursquare mobile app platforms.
The first of these products, Check-In Retargeting, will allow advertisers to target users outside of the Foursquare app. Check-in data will be grouped together and sold to ad exchanges in order to serve ads on external platforms. Such organization leads to the creation of specific demographic groups, which, after being sold to advertisers, can be used for ads based on not only the age and gender of a group, but on shopping habits, favorite foods and frequented locations as well.
The second product is Post Check-In Units, which serves ads contextually within only the Foursquare app. These ads are served immediately after a user checks in and their subject material is based on the location at which they just arrived. Users might later see that same ad, or potentially a different, related ad, the next time they check-in at that location.
For example, if a user checks in at the mall, they might see one of a variety of different pop-up ads for stores within the mall. The app would then serve the most interactive and enticing ads based on the user’s demographic in order to gain the most click-throughs possible. This product is anticipated to launch sometime in June or July and will be pricing ads on a CPC basis.
Foursquare is ideally seeking clients with $50,000 and $75,000 budgets to come on board and to “mutually share campaign learnings,” meaning that they’re in the market for advertisers with whom they can share ad creative. With this in mind, the company is currently asking for $50,000 per ad expenditure.
Fifty million people use Foursquare and of those people 3.5 billion check-ins have been recorded so far. Additionally, other apps such as Instagram and Evernote incorporate Foursquare’s location database. While Foursquare has a plethora of data to be structured and utilized successfully by advertisers, their historical lack of monetary success could be holding them back from finding the investors they’re looking for. Potential user disinterest in pop-up ads could also be an issue because of the perceived invasiveness that goes along with user targeting. Despite these possible setbacks, Foursquare remains optimistic about its new products and the many uses for its consumer data.