Foursquare Just Did A User-Tracking Deal With One Of Facebook's Biggest Ad Partners

Foursquare will allow Turn, one of Facebook’s ad exchange partners, to target its users with ads based on their check-ins, according to Ad Age.

The move was expected, as Foursquare had been using an ad sales pitch deck since April that touted check-in targeting and pixel tracking. (Pixel tracking is one way that users are followed on the web by advertisers.)

What’s interesting about the choice of Turn is that the company is best-known as on of the adtech world’s largest “demand-side platforms” (DSPs). A DSP is basically an ad-buying system, in which clients buy inventory in a real-time bidding auction. The inventory is usually triggered by tracking cookies, so buyers can target people by their apparent interests as indicated by their web surfing history.

Turn is a major player inside FBX, Facebook’s cookie-driven, RTB ad exchange.

At Foursquare, a users’ interest will, obviously, be inferred from their check-in. The innovation here — if the implication in the ad sales pitch deck is correct — is that the ad will be triggered by the check-in. Turn can apply its database of cookies to match that check-in with a relevant audience.

It looks like Foursquare will not be offering individual users as targets, but rather anonymous blocks of users with similar interests, such as “mass market mum,” “business traveller,” and “luxury affinity.”

See Foursquare’s pitch deck here.

Welcome to the show! Let's get started ...

Hiding in plain sight: Foursquare was hooking up with a DSP back in April, it turns out.

Foursquare has 30 million users in its audience.

Yup, it'll be standard ad formats being served — it's a lot easier to trigger those in a cookie-based retargeting exchange than it is to come up with a native format.

Foursquare wants a $50,000 entry fee for new advertisers. Cheap!

Foursquare is offering more than one way to target users. It's not just the actual check-in, but during a post-check-in period, too.

Perhaps Stoli is a Foursquare client. Companies don't usually use each others' brands in pitches without permission.

Note the IAB standard being mentioned again. Foursquare wants a call to action in the campaign so it can see how many users actually responded to the ads, perhaps with a click or a download.

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