Microsoft Taps Foursquare's Social Big Data

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MICROSOFT AND FOURSQUARE FORGE PARTNERSHIP: Microsoft is investing $US15 million in Foursquare as part of a new “strategic partnership.” The partnership consists of a licensing deal that allows Microsoft to integrate Foursquare’s valuable location data with its mobile services and Bing search.

A number of prominent services, such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Uber rely on Foursquare’s API (or, application programming interface) to power their location-based features. Presumably, Microsoft will have access to Foursquare’s full firehose of data that other services cannot tap via the API.

Foursquare’s 45 million users account for more than 5 billion location check-ins (approximately 110 check-ins per user). This allows Foursquare to compile a compelling trove of data on consumers’ whereabouts. To learn more about Foursquare’s location graph, check out our new report on social big data >

Foursquare has raised quite a bit of money recently. In addition to the $US15 million from Microsoft, the company closed a $US35 million Series D round in December 2013. (Wall Street Journal)

WHAT ARE CONSUMERS DOING ON FACEBOOK?: A recent Pew survey, highlighted by Statista, reveals that the main reason consumers use Facebook is to see photos/videos, be entertained, and share with many people at once. Only 31% of men and women cited “keeping up with news/current events” as a major reason for using Facebook. The social network recently rolled out Paper, a standalone mobile news app, with the hope of providing consumers with a better social news service than the News Feed. (Statista)

FACEBOOK’S PROMISING FUTURE: Carnegie Mellon University researcher Bruno Ribeiro modelled the growth patterns of various websites, and theorizes that he doesn’t expect Facebook to experience a significant drop-off in daily active users any time soon. Ribeiro also found that website audiences that grew via word-of-mouth are much better off in the long-run for retaining and engaging users. Marketers can use this insight to predict which social networks are sustainable and where they should be investing their resources to grow their audiences online. (Carnegie Mellon University)

IBM’S WATSON ANALYSES TWITTER USERS: IBM’s supercomputer Watson is analysing tweets to compose personality profiles of Twitter users. Watson was one of the first artificial intelligence computer systems to garner the public’s attention when it competed on the game show Jeopardy. Now, Watson’s natural language processor is being used analyse messages on social networks. (Fast Co. Design)

SNAPCHAT LAWSUIT CONTINUES: The legal battle between Snapchat’s legal team and alleged co-founder Reggie Brown is being remanded back to state court, denying the company’s motion to dismiss the case. (CNET)

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