Only Google and Facebook rival us on data precision


Few companies have the capacity to take on Foursquare, a location discovery platform that leverages its massive database to provide users with personalized recommendations, Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck said Friday.

“Other than Google and Facebook, we are the Switzerland,” Glueck said in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

“We are the sort of platform that everyone who’s not Google or Facebook want to use because we understand the whole world’s places and we understand different floors of buildings, where you go in malls,” he continued. “It’s very hard technology, and so really only Google, Facebook and Foursquare have this precision globally.”

Since Foursquare broke into the big data space, the company has used its deep data to help other companies enhance their location-based technology. Its latest ventures include partnerships with Liberty Media’s TripAdvisor and dating app Tinder.

“The business is 99 percent about helping other brands reach their audiences at scale,” Glueck told Cramer. “People think, maybe, ‘I don’t use Foursquare anymore,’ … but if you tag a tweet on Twitter, if you get a geofilter on Snapchat, if you participate in Tinder Places, these are all services that we are helping create with our technology.”

With Tinder Places, which is being piloted in three cities, Foursquare suggests matching with people who frequent similar locales, like dog parks and coffee shops. Glueck said early results are already showing “better matches,” because “people have something in common and so they’re more reciprocal.”

Without naming names, the CEO also took a stance on data protection and the importance of keeping users in control when it comes to using Foursquare’s location services.

“For different people, opting into location sharing or sharing your payments, like Venmo Friends allows, that’s something that’s very personal,” he said. “For us, it’s always been the user has to be in control. The user has to have adequate chance to opt in and know how it’s going to benefit them, and that’s how we work with companies. And so what we see is about 50 to 70 percent of people opt in to these enhanced location alerts.”

Foursquare is a privately-traded company with over 100 million logged locations in 200 countries. The company was No. 46 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list in 2017.

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