Oh, I am so glad that Valleywag is back. Silicon Valley’s beloved tech slash gossip blog has finally been brought back from the dead, and without even missing a beat has managed to get their sticky little hands on what might be some of the hottest news in the social media and advertising industry this year.
And it’s not even about Facebook.
A few weeks ago, speculation surfaced that Foursquare was poised to start offering targeted ads to users based on check-in data. According to Adweek, the new revenue model would eventually allow advertisers to use Foursquare data to target ads purchased through ad exchanges or networks. At the time, Foursquare said in a statement that “We are always looking at ways that could make our data more useful for advertisers and partners, while respecting the privacy of our user’s information. We’re really excited about our 2013 monetization roadmap, and will provide more details when the time comes.”
Currently, Foursquare’s revenue model is mostly based on profit from businesses buying promoted listings and specials advertised solely within Foursquare as an app.
Yesterday, Valleywag – a Gawker property – leaked the presentation Foursquare has been showing advertisers promoting the new ad units. Foursquare’s pitch includes the fact that the location-based app has 30 million users who have checked in at restaurants, bars, and other venues more than 3.5 billion times – and that these check-ins can be leveraged as targeting markers for advertisers.
Yes, you read that right; your previous Foursquare activity is going to be sold (to advertisers with budgets between $50,000 and $75,000) and used as part of retargeting campaigns. Now, we love a good retargeting campaign and smart advertising that is destined to perform well. What scares us – as it should you – is the fact that these new ad units are due to roll out in May…yet with the exception of some savvy tech press, no one knows about it.