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Is Yahoo really looking to acquire Foursquare?

Yahoo has been rumored to have their sights set on Foursquare, but do they really and why would they want to acquire the “check-in” app?



Is Foursquare about to be snapped up?

The rumor mill is churning surrounding the possible acquisition of Foursquare by Yahoo. Now that Yahoo has a new CEO, Marissa Mayer, the platform has been attempting to revamp itself around the mobile community. The rumor mill has been brewing for a while surrounding the possible acquisition of Foursquare by Yahoo and some sources says it’s a done deal, others say it isn’t going to happen.

This rumor mill dance may sound all too familiar; remember when the rumors began circulating regarding Yahoo buying Tumblr? Many sources said it was not going to happen, then, the news broke that it had indeed. As was the case with Tumblr, both Yahoo and Foursquare have declined to comment regarding any negotiations.

$900 million for the app!? WOW

Techcrunch reports Yahoo could be paying as much as $900 million for the app, but why? Why would they be willing to pay so for something that isn’t really the “in” thing anymore?

The answer, in my opinion, is simple: data. There are still approximately 55 million active users on Foursquare, checking in from mobile devices. Add this current data, to the data Foursquare has collected over the last six years and you’ve got some pretty deep statistics to work from to enhance the Yahoo platform.

Why Foursquare is an appealing purchase

Foursquare is considered to be the frontrunner in location databases, due to their advanced location intelligence system, but the app also offers context. While you may still think of it as the “check in app,” when you layer this ability with another app, like Tumblr or OpenTable, it has the potential to enhance that platform substantially. Think about how location-specific data could help organize your Tumblr, or take it a step further and suggest additional places to stop while you’re on vacation, based on your current location.

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With OpenTable, Foursquare location technology could allow you to make reservations based on suggestions from the app. So, if you’re in New York, the app would show you the highest rated places to dine, based on your current location and with another tap, you can reserve a table and head over to check it out. Foursquare definitely has the potential to be more than just a “check-in,” perhaps this is why so many companies have been trying to acquire it.

The rumor mill isn’t always wrong

Currently, it is not 100 percent clear whether or not Yahoo will acquire Foursquare, but this isn’t the first time the rumor mill has been right. We broke the story that something was amiss at Gowalla: staff was disappearing and their resumes were showing up all over Austin where Gowalla and are both headquartered. Soon after the story broke, it was confirmed that Facebook had indeed bought Gowalla. Even if businesses deny the rumor mill, chances are there’s still something brewing.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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