Last week, Apple Senior VP Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, checked in using Foursquare
at Apple's HQ. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley was spending a week in San Francisco at the same time. According to the Wall Street Journal
, this was not a coincidence as the paper is reporting that Apple and Foursquare are discussing a deal involving the sharing of local data. According to the story, Apple wants to integrate Foursquare into Apple Maps
. This is important because Google Maps was downloaded 10 million times in the first two days
that it was launched by Google, and there is a way to allow Siri to be used with Google Maps
. Apple feels pressured to make something unique and positive out of Apple Maps instead of it being known as a death trap
Screenshots from Foursquare
For the Rip Van Winkle's out there, Foursquare is a popular mobile app that allows people to tell their friends when they are at places like bars and restaurants by "checking-in". The app also includes a number of business listings, user-generated tips and rankings. Not only would all of this information be perfect for a mapping application like Apple Maps, it would also be useful for a search engine. Is Apple planning on going up against Google in search? According to the WSJ, before he died, Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly told an associate that he thought that Apple could compete with Google in local search.
Foursquare can use the extra attention. While it does have 25 million registered viewers, only 8 million
use it every month. An update to the app launched on Monday added larger, swipeable pictures at the top of the page. Also at the top of the page you will now find the important information you want like ratings, phone
number, menu and hours. After you check into a location you'll find out who else is there and receive tips on what to order. Check the App Store for the latest update.
Will these talks result in a deal between Apple and Foursquare? Apple already has a deal with Yelp
and others for reviews and information on local establishments. This summer, Apple said it had collected more than 100 million business listings globally. Still, a deal for Foursquare integration on Apple Maps makes sense, especially in light of the increased competition with Google Maps. Stay tuned.