Foursquare Launches Hypertrending, A Next-Gen View of the Hot Spots in Town

This post is the latest in our “Targeting Location” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of March, including topics like location-based ad targeting, attribution, and privacy. See the rest of the series here

Foursquare announced on Friday, coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of its launch at SXSW, a new feature called Hypertrending that shows users the most popular places where people are meeting up around them.

One view provided by the feature is a map with dots of varying sizes according to the popularity of a given location. Lots of smartphones detected by Foursquare at a given location means a bigger dot.

The second view is a list of the hottest places, a kind of multi-vertical Yelp in real time that indicates the most popular restaurants, hotels, and event spaces in a user’s area, to name a few examples.

Foursquare says Hypertrending will respect the amplified privacy concerns characteristic of the zeitgeist. While the feature does show the location of smartphone users, the data is aggregated and anonymized, preventing Hypertrending users from understanding who is hanging out at the downtown taqueria.

Still, the company is not so secretly hoping Hypertrending will shape the commercial intent of its users, consolidating the appeal of popular venues and bringing users back to its app. That would be good news for the location intelligence company, whose business model hinges on accurately informing business clients about the real-world location of consumers, especially those exposed to their marketing efforts.

Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.

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