Decade-old location platform Foursquare recently announced its plans to merge with Factual. The new company will, however, keep the Foursquare name. Moreover, Foursquare CEO David Shim will continue to lead the team. Factual founder and former CEO Gil Elbaz will be joining as a member of the Foursquare board along with Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley. Also Read - Twitter launches Foursquare-powered location tags for iOS users
Shim confirmed to TechCrunch that the merger had in fact been in the works for quite a while now. The talks have been there since before the coronavirus outbreak brought the world to a standstill. A spokesperson revealed that as a result of the merger, there will be redundancies and hence, layoffs in both teams. However, which teams will be affected and how many employees will be laid off is still under wraps. Also Read - Is Yahoo buying Foursquare for $900 million?
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A look back at the original Foursquare
Back in 2009, Foursquare gained popularity as a location-based social networking platform. Here, users could share their locations with friends and earn badges. The approach has since evolved to a more advertising and marketing-focused one. However, the location of users is still the main game of the company. Also Read - Facebook testing new 'Place Tips' app to compete with Foursquare and Yelp
Later in 2014, Foursquare split its main application into two separate apps. The Foursquare City Guide and Swarm. The latter would let users check into various locations to earn stamps. However, this later saw a drop in popularity. The Foursquare City Guide, on the other hand, made use of the data from Swarm to power a service that could find great nearby restaurants and more. This became a competitor to Yelp.
A similar route was taken over time by Factual >the company started out in 2009 as a repository for open data. However, over time it narrowed down and became a popular location-focused data provider to improve services. “Both companies have long maintained that there is a need for independent, neutral location data, available outside of the walled gardens, and we expect near-term that the walled gardens will relent and seek out an independent partner,” said David Shim. “Foursquare is primed to be that provider,” he added.