Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley believes the company can survive in the local search business by pulling in API data from third-party developers who use the company’s platform to generate location based data.
Speaking at a keynote presentation at South by Southwest Crowley explained:
“If people think it’s all about mayorships, that muddles the story. We’re starting to put a lot of that stuff in the background.”
Foursquare currently provides its API to more than 40,000 developers who utilize the company’s 50 million points of interest.
Among Foursquare’s users are the Twitter-owned Vine, Facebook’s Instagram and mobile network Path.
Crowley says that every single time a third party developer uses its API Foursquare receives back “a little bit of that signal.”
In an example of the Foursquare API’s power Crowley explains how the platform can track a user form New York to Tokyo as they take a vacation or travel on a business trip. The company can literally track photos, video, check-ins and other data to understand how users interact in an unlimited number of ways.
According to Crowley:
“We’re trying to put more Google juice behind some of our pages. We’re driving more traffic thru Google than we were last year, for sure.”
With 30 million users and more than 1 million merchants using Foursquare the app has endless possibilities, but only if the company can figure out how to utilize that data in a worthwhile way.