Twitter did it; now Foursquare is reportedly in discussions with Google, Yahoo and Bing to supply (or license) its check-in data as a search-enhancer. According to the UK’s Telegraph:
Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search,” [Foursquare co-founder and CEO Dennis] 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.
There’s no question that the Foursquare data are valuable, like the Facebook “Like” button. They could show venues that are being visited in “real time” as well as user-generated “tips” that Foursquare shows about the venues. The only real question is how best to integrate these data into search results.
Google, Yahoo and Bing all have different implementations for Twitter data. None have completely “nailed it” in my view.
Currently Bing Maps offers a novel look at where people are checking in on Foursquare in real time as one of its “Map Apps”:
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