Street Fight’s April Theme: Targeting Location

This post is the latest in our “Targeting Location” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of April, and you can see the rest of the series here


Over the past month, we at Street Fight have focused on privacy among other influential topics in local media, advertising, and commerce. This is part of our ongoing theme of the month program at Street Fight. 

When huddling to determine April’s focus, it was evident that one topic flows naturally from March’s privacy theme: location targeting. Indeed, among all of the subdivisions of privacy reform, location-based data collection is one of the most sensitive. And it’s where many data collection restrictions will focus, such as Apple’s iOS location tracking notifications.

Privacy is also a central topic to the future of local media and commerce, given sensitivities and shifting strategies around location data collection. The companies that occupy this space — including the likes of Foursquare — have to innovate around new restrictions. And digital advertising as a whole is grappling with how to navigate the waters of the privacy era.

Expanding the market for location services

Speaking of Foursquare, just last month it relaunched its Places Database and introduced a new Places Enterprise API. The former is all about beefing up the data that underlies its core products, while the latter addresses more complex enterprise data needs. Foursquare sees enterprise operations and logistics as the next growth area for location data. 

Meanwhile, GroundTruth earlier this week announced the acquisition of self-serve ad platform Addy. This will help bring it closer to SMBs by lowering the barriers to creating location-based marketing campaigns. So while Foursquare moves up market, Groundtruth moves down market. In both cases, it’s about expanding the addressable market. 

Future moves: consolidation and new technologies

As the above and other players continue to deal with restrictions on data collection, we’ll see ongoing moves to gain ground and expand revenue centers. We’ll also see consolidation in the sector. This happens as companies are compelled to pool resources to gain more data sources and larger networks of tracked devices to counterbalance new restrictions. 

In emerging tech areas, we’re also seeing location data come into play. The “Internet of Places” is something that Google and others continue to cultivate to anchor data to physical places. Among other things, the front-end interface for this data could be visual-search overlays on storefronts or Snapchat Lenses that tell you more about a local business. 

In fact, Google earlier this week announced a slew of new AI-driven updates to Google Maps. Among these is a new feature that brings its Live View AR-guided navigation indoors. This unlocks all-new mapping and location-relevant experiences such as wayfinding in malls and airports.  

How will all of the above play out in the remainder of 2021? We’ll tackle this question throughout the month. So look out for the tag Targeting Location.” We’ll label posts so you can discover them daily or actively browse them. Coverage will include our own daily reporting as well as analytical dives from our growing network of columnists and contributors.

Speaking of which, we’ll take this chance to remind you about our editorial contributor program. If you have unique perspectives, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll prioritize submissions that make concrete assertions about the future of the industries we cover, especially the monthly theme.

We’ve also begun a new ritual in 2021. Each month, we’ll be aggregating comments from thought leaders that align with the monthly theme (like this). If you’re a location intelligence expert or enthusiast, we’d love to include your voice in the chorus. 

Reach out to us with suggestions for monthly themes, opportunities to contribute, or to amplify your brand messaging alongside this thematic coverage. This includes Street Fight’s new Thought Leaders program.

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