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Foursquare Sells Location Data to Help Advertisers Target Users Outside Its App

The data will help advertisers identify users to serve display and video ads more effectively.

Foursquare Sells Location Data to Help Advertisers Target Users Outside Its App

Sitting on a data treasure trove of more than 3 billion check-ins, Foursquare is selling location data to advertising firm Turn to target users outside the mobile app, AdAge reports, citing unnamed executives familiar with the matter.

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The partnership would allow advertisers to identify certain users to serve display and video ads on their desktops, tablets, and smartphones. According to its website, Turn leverages data from social, mobile, search, and other channels to track users and help companies execute retargeting campaigns. Among its ad-exchange partners is Facebook Exchange, a real-time bidding ad protocol launched in June that tracks users with cookies.

Foursquare declined to comment on the partnership, but it’s no secret that the company has been looking to sell the data it collects from users. In April, Gawker’s Valleywag leaked an internal company document highlighting the potential for advertisers to target users on the web. It also mentioned post-check-in targeting, a feature that’s since gone live that lets companies serve contextual ads based on users’ current activities. According to the presentation, Foursquare was looking for an advertising partner with a commitment of $50,000 to $75,000 for a six-week campaign.

[Image: Flickr user Nan Palmero]

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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