When Twitter finally got to the point where it realized that there needed to be a next step (whether they felt ready or not they were told they were ready by everyone and their brother) they turned to deals with the search engines. It’s a rite of passage for businesses t reach the level where they can even be thought of as a viable source of information that the engines would actually pay to have.
It appears as if foursquare is about there already. The Telegraph has the scoop
Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph, Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, said that his company was in talks with “everyone” in the search space – including all three major players: Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft about a data partnership.
“Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search,” Crowley said.
We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what.”
Whether or not you are buying into the ‘check-in’ craze this is important to marketers since foursquare is showing signs of taking off. It recently reached the 2 million account plateau just three months after it had hit the 1 million mark. We have seen this kind of hockey stick adoption rate in the past so it is best for foursquare to strike while the iron is hot.
Of course, any deals with the engines are gambles because of the fear that the location based game is still very wide open and plans by social giants like Facebook and Google themselves could put a dent in the idea that foursquare could dominate the space.
Right now its biggest threat is Gowalla but this space is so new and is developing so rapidly that there could be an unknown lurking in the bushes that could come in and do something different. In fact, one of the concerns about the whole location based craze right now is just what can be done AFTER someone checks in and gets excited about being the mayor of a place that they are visiting. Foursquare is making strides in this area which will likely determine just how far they can go in the future.
For now though it’s all good as Crowley says about his current competition
“We are more social than Gowalla and ultimately have different visions moving forward. They are excited about different things.”
So this will be worth keeping an eye on as more and more elements of search move away from the traditional blue text link. Real estate on the first page of SERP’s (search engine results pages) for anything with a location element are already crowded with maps and seven packs and more. It sure will keep the SEO community on its toes as it tries to keep pace with the change and figure out just what a search result is going to look like in certain circumstances in the very near future.
Where are you on the geo-location craze? Are you active? Passive? Waiting to see what happens? Let us know where you are at ;-).