Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Snap Chat Taps Foursquare to Sharpen Its Location-Based Advertising

The most common way we see companies large and small using data today is in their advertising initiatives. Firms are constantly searching for ways to market more efficiently, hoping to recognize a greater ROI for less of an investment. Snapchat, who recently surpassed Twitter as the fastest growing social media platform with over 150 million active daily users is taking advantage of the scores of data available today to benefit themselves, as well as the companies they work with. Snapchat has seen an incredible surge in revenue over the last two years, jumping from $59 million in 2014 to being on-target to hit $350 million in 2016. One can comprehend this massive amount of growth after understanding that Snap Inc.’s major source of revenue generation is through advertisements. Thousands of companies pay Snap in order to utilize their geofilter feature to advertise to users throughout the world. This use of the geofilter is where Snap Inc.’s exciting new partnership with Foursquare comes into play.

Foursquare is a search-and-discover mobile app that provides search results for its users. These searches can include anything from area entertainment, shopping, dining or other services users may be looking for. Foursquare has a trove of valuable location intelligence it obtains from its users. Snap Inc. intends to use Foursquare’s “polygon” data to help them understand what users in targeted areas are looking for, which in turn, will help their advertisers focus their ad campaigns. This is a great strategic move by Snap because they will now have tangible evidence to take to potential advertisers to show them a granular picture of who will be in what areas, what they prefer, how they should be targeted, and could even make an assumption about what type of return each brand could see. With so many brands wasting valuable ad dollars on consumers who will never engage with them, this initiative by Snap shows that they care about the firms they partner with and should give said firms confidence in this advertising medium.

While it may not immediately appear so, this partnership could be beneficial to the general welfare of the public as well. With such a wide range of users on both the Snapchat and Foursquare platforms, these tech firms could assist law enforcement agencies in solving crimes or locating missing persons. These companies could query their logs to paint a picture of where suspects or missing individuals are based on the interaction with various servers in their networks. While I’m definitely oversimplifying this scenario, I believe this is a very real application that this technology is capable of. While Silicon Valley companies are hesitant to partner with the government and various privacy questions may arise, I believe that when you’re in between a rock and a hard place, both parties would be able to find common ground and work towards a mutually advantageous solution.



  1. I thought this article by Connor was pretty interesting. I honestly had no idea what Foursquare was, or even that it was a thing. Naturally I do know what Snap Chat is. In our world today it is almost impossible to find anyone with a smart phone who doesn’t have Snap Chat. Even my mom who is not that tech savvy has a snap chat. One thing I am not surprised about is the revenue jump for Snap Chat. Going from $59 million to $350 in two years is very impressive, but this app has been taking over social media. Between the new dog filters, and custom made geo-tags for events like weddings, which are awesome, everyone seems to be using Snap Chat. Instagram has even gone to copy Snap Chat’s “My Story” idea.

    After reading Connor’s response it makes perfect sense to me that Snap Chat and Foursquare team up. From what I read Foursquare has a lot of valuable data that Snap Chat is taking notice of. Snap Chat makes all of its money through advertising and with this collaboration with Foursquare companies will be able to market themselves through Snap Chat. I do agree with Connor when he says that this shows that Snap Chat truly cares about the companies they are partnered up with. It doesn’t seem as if Snap Chat is simply throwing their partners to the side once the agreement has been made. They are actively pursuing ways to better their relationships with their partners. In the world of advertising it is critical to make sure that your advertising dollars are going towards valuable investments. With the more data available companies can pinpoint exactly what market they are trying to reach and with the most effective means of doing so. I also believe this move helps the consumers. If the companies can better advertise to us then we are more likely to find exactly what we are looking for. This partnership definitely seems advantageous for all parties involved.

    The last part of this article is where I think Connor is on to a good idea. Connor talks about how Snapchat and Foursquare can team up with law enforcement agencies for the public good. I think this is a tricky area, but the idea is a good one. Companies out there have so much data, and probably the ability to track all of their customers’ movements. This data better helps them stay connected with their customers and also helps the business relationship. But as we know ever since a book named 1984 came out everyone seems too petrified when the government has access to our personal information. We seem to have no problem when Amazon puts an ad on a random website we happen to be on, but hate when the government has that information. I do think these companies can provide valuable information to law enforcement but I do not really see that ever happening in my lifetime unless of an extreme case.

  2. In my opinion this is a smart business move for Snap Chat and Foursquare. This partnership has a great potential to create new profit and growth for both tech companies. By allowing Foursquare to create location filters and locations sensors it enables Snap Chat to become more interactive with it's users to make them want to utilize the application more than it already is. There is unlimited potential with adding location filters by being able to ping Snap Chat users when they are near an event that may be going on and creating a filter to broadcast that event to other users. The aspect that Connor was talking about is also going to be beneficial to the criminal justice system by being able to track and locate the movements of criminals and missing persons. This would allow officials to pinpoint locations more accurately than just a general area that could span many blocks or miles depending on where a person last was located. This was an overall great article as it takes into account a social media aspect of developing technology that appeals to users.

  3. Connor’s perspective on the partnership of Snapchat and Foursquare is very interesting in my opinion. While Foursquare is an organization that I am unfamiliar with, I feel as if the combination of platforms will not only generate higher revenues for Snapchat, but also increase consumer interest in Foursquare. Additionally, Snapchat’s partnership choice is also beneficial because it goes along the lines of location services. As most users know, Snapchat offers a wide range of facial filters and geo-filters based on the user’s location. Thus, the partnership between Snapchat and Foursquare could help with targeting specific advertisements based on specific locations.
    However, the most interesting take on the merging of Snapchat and Foursquare is definitely Connor’s perspective that he discusses in his final statements. The idea that the partnership of Snapchat and Foursquare can benefit outside parties such as local and national law enforcement is brilliant. The location services aspect of the business operation could help with corporeality issues, like Connor said. On the other hand, the security risks with location services are inevitably high. Once a user allows Snapchat or Foursquare to have access to their location, that information could be easily hacked by outside sources.

  4. Snapchat has easily become one of the most popular social media platforms over the past few years. The constant updates and new features, such as the filters and geotags opened a whole new window for the app. Foursquare has also been well-known for the past couple years, but I personally did not know it was being used so often still. It is not an app that is often discussed amongst my demographic, but it seems to have made improvements with the food, shopping or entertainment suggestions. I think their use of location data to tailor to their audiences or users has been incredible and definitely increases the usage for the app.
    I think data is the new key to advertising, especially when it comes to certain products. Now because products are more technologically based they are more expensive to produce, therefore companies must be mindful with how much they are spending on advertising. With apps like Snapchat and Foursquare they are able to promote to certain demographics and collect data within their company based on what works best to build revenue. Social media advertising has become one of the most efficient means of advertising because the younger generations are completely engrossed in technology and a lot of their time is dedicated to looking at the screens of their different devices, whether it is a phone, laptop or tablet.
    Snapchat did have a lull in their app where it just started to become old when users became sick of just taking and sending photos, but the geotags and filters have lead it to an all-time high. I think the combination of Foursquare and Snapchat will not only draw more attention to both apps, but will allow for more outside companies to be interested in using them for advertising. I think Connor also made a good point that the apps could begin to be used in other industries such as law enforcement as a platform to recall details from anything worthy of their attention. When a tragedy happens or a criminal act takes place, the first thing people think to do is whip out their phones to record the event, therefore the police could make this an extremely useful platform. Overall, I do believe the combination of these apps would greatly benefit the public, their companies, other companies and many outside industries in general. As long as Foursquare and Snapchat continue to update their technologies and change their app to the likes of the users they will only gain popularity.


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