How is Foursquare making money

Attribution Powered by Foursquare leans on a voluntary, nonincentivized panel of 1.3 million Foursquare users who have agreed to leave their location-sharing feature on at all times, meaning Foursquare knows every store they visit—even if they don't open the app or the company's sister app, Swarm. The panel also takes U.S. Census demographics into consideration.

Brand marketers can select specific demographics in certain markets to home in on a campaign's performance across Web channels like Yahoo and AOL and various mobile app ad networks. Then, a test group and a control group from the Foursquare panel are set up.

The smartphone-carrying consumers' offline activities are recorded for an amount of time the marketer necessitates—for instance, a travel company would be interested in seeing visits data 30 days or more after a campaign runs, while a fast-food brand may want to know if an ad drove people into stores within a few days of seeing it.

Marketers will be charged at a 50-cent CPM rate for the attribution program, which will also be sold on a licensing model.

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