Foursquare moved to squeeze more revenue out of its massive geographic location database, offering to license its mobile notification system to “select” developers.
The company has long licensed the database of 93 million places itself for use by other companies large and small, ranging from Uber to Airbnb to Microsoft (MSFT). The new set of software interfaces will allow others to use the information to trigger real-time notifications in their apps.
For example, a coupon app could use the new Foursquare software kit, called Pilgrim, to launch an alert on a user’s phone showing a relevant offer based on the store the user had just entered. The alert would pop up even if the coupon app wasn’t open.
A couple of companies—including credit card giant Capital One Financial (COF) and coupon app SnipSnap—tested the new notifications function during a beta test, Mike Harkey, Foursquare vice president for business development, tells Fortune. Harkey is attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to pitch the capability to potential partners, including telecom carriers.
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“You don’t need to take your phone out of your pocket to have a location-powered experience,” Harkey says, explaining the power of notifications. “It’s activated in the background just by walking in a venue.”
Foursquare will be selective about making deals, avoiding app developers that won’t give customers a good experience or respect high privacy standards, Harkey says. “It’s critical that our partners are directly transparent,” he adds, acknowledging how sensitive consumers can be about location data.
Partners will pay based on how many users they gave for their app, Harkey said. He declined to detail exact pricing.