Foursquare Location Data To Power Snapchat Geofilters

Following deals with Twitter, Uber, Pinterest, and others, Foursquare is working to establish itself as the foundation of social media platforms' geo-data go-to.

Foursquare has been tapped by Snap to provide its location data to Snapchat Geofilters, as brands continue to explore the value of connecting with the growing number of consumers who are using the social messaging app.

“With this partnership, the power of Foursquare location intelligence and our proprietary map of the world is validated once again—and by yet another industry leader,” Mike Harkey, VP of Business Development at Foursquare, told GeoMarketing. “Earlier this year we also announced deals with Twitter and Uber, plus many others. We look forward to seeing the creativity unfold.”

In a blog post, Harkey outlined that its Place Shapes data covers over 87 million places. Snapchat Geofilters can now take advantage of that database to accurately feature its image overlays to highlight where a user is — and allow brands to connect with their own Geofilters.

“To translate how phones see the world, we triangulate signals such as wifi, bluetooth, GPS and more, and determine where a phone is located,” Harkey said. “We can accurately identify that a phone is in Gjelina in Venice, CA, or at Montana Ale Works, in Bozeman, or in La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain — and this helps us create our map of the world.

“Now that Snap has purchased our Places, they’ll be able to give Snapchatters better, more relevant Geofilters, and allow their advertisers more flexibility and creativity when they purchase Geofilters,” Harkey added. 

Snapchat’s Location Multiplication

Mindful of users’ privacy concerns regarding location, Foursquare is sending its Place Shapes data to Snapchat as a one-way street — Foursquare will not be receiving Snapchat user data in return.

“Consider a surf brand,” Harkey said, offering another example of how this partnership will play out in the real world. “Now that we’re powering Snapchat Geofilters, the company could offer branded Geofilters at a chain of surf shops or at every beach in the U.S. Or a soda company may now purchase Geofilters across all fast food and convenience store locations. This opens up whole new categories of venues for Snap’s database, so Snapchat could offer Geofilters pegged to places like parks, farmers’ markets and speakeasies, all based on Foursquare venue shapes and our extensive categorization of places.”

The use of Foursquare’s polygon-based data is will complement Snapchat’s other location information sources.

In mid-August, Snapchat acquired mobile search and local recommendation app Vurb for a reported $110+ million to help promote discovery of local places — something that Foursquare’s flagship app also provides.

Earlier this past summer, location-management specialist Yext began powering Geofilter campaigns on Snapchat. (Full disclosure: Yext is GeoMarketing‘s parent company. More details on that relationship here.)

“I think the cool thing that’s happening right now is that we’re starting to see a new categorization of location services with the rise of mobile — a new class of services that are not just search and directory,” Marc Ferrentino, EVP Strategy at Yext, told GeoMarketing in August. “Snapchat is a great example of that. Uber is a great example. These are all examples of a new class of location end points, and we’re committed and dedicated to ensuring that our customers’ information is correct there too.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.