If you're working with a device made by Microsoft (or running a Microsoft-made OS) right now, get ready to see a whole lot more of Foursquare. Microsoft has just invested a cool $15 million USD into the check-in app ecosystem, allowing them to agree to a "strategic partnership" which has Microsoft becoming Foursquare's number-one source of revenue. Part of this comes from the additional multi-year contract signed by both groups to license Foursquare data in Microsoft services.
This multi-year contract includes pushing Foursquare data to Bing, Microsoft's search engine, and Windows Phone 8 (and forward), Microsoft's mobile operating system. Speaking with the New York Times, Holger Luedorf, Foursquare's head of business development, suggested that the cash from Microsoft would help the company "double down on social search and experiences."
This cash is in reference to the $15 million USD, while the multi-year contract could potentially rack the company up additional funds. According to a chat with the Wall Street Journal, Foursquare Chief Executive Dennis Crowley suggested that this deal is not exclusive in any way.
In practice, this means that Foursquare's deals with other groups for data will continue and they'll be able to license their data to additional groups in the future. Foursquare currently works with the company known as Gnip to license and distribute their social media data.
"Do you want to understand the intersection of social data and the physical world? The full firehose of anonymized check-ins from Foursquare is your answer. From understanding what makes a city tick to forecasting retail sales based on check-in volume, the potential applications for Foursquare data are endless.
As the exclusive provider of the Foursquare firehose, Gnip ensures that you get every check-in you need." - Gnip
While Gnip sends out Foursquare data that's marketed as "access to anonymized check-ins", it's entirely possible that Foursquare's work with Microsoft will be a bit more direct. Again, we'll be seeing Foursquare become a lot more prominent in Microsoft products in the weeks, months, and years ahead.