Foursquare would provide an anonymized stream of check-in activity to its partners, who could then enable users to search for bars and restaurants receiving a lot of visits in their area.
Foursquare cofounder and CEO Dennis Crowley explained the idea thus: “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.”
It’s an attractive idea in theory, though it’s difficult to see this data being widely useful just yet; Foursquare’s two million users are impressive, but not enough to shed much light on what places people in general are going to. If search companies throw much money Foursquare’s way, it will be a bet on the startup’s future.
Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo all “failed to deny the talks were happening” which is our new favourite phrase.