Foursquare is preparing to bolster its London footprint amid a further charm offensive on the European market as it rolls out promoted products in its US base.
Having opened its UK operations late last year it is now poised to appoint its third UK-based employee where it already counts Omid Ashtari as director of business development and David Rosenberg as business development associate.
With a small office now based in London’s Soho this growing team will focus on “business development” ahead of the appointment of additional “European-focused managers”, according to Holger Luedorf, Foursquare, senior VP of business development, adding that a third body will soon join.
He points out that this team will focus on promoting its increasing array of targeting platforms to both media outfits and its core constituency of long-tail merchants.
This UK footprint now augments its 30-strong workforce based in its San Francisco office and also accompanies the 100 bodies based in its New York home.
“We have our self-service platforms [essentially for smaller merchants]… and our London team is also focused on speaking with [bigger] brands and social media agencies,” added Luedorf.
“We definitely have some things planned for Europe that we’re not doing anywhere else,” he added.
Speaking with new media age from its Californian office, Luedorf described the company as “truly bi-coastal” highlighting its expansion as bid to make itself accessible globally to brands and media agency staff.
“We have live video link-ups which run constantly connecting our London and San Francisco offices,” he told new media age pointing out the large screen monitors which effectively bridges its two US bases.
This increased international focus also comes as the location-based check-in service, which now counts over 2.5bn interactions, also prepares for a “Connected Apps hackathon” to boost innovation on the platform.
During the event, app developers from around the world will be invited to “wire new functionality directly into the core foursquare experience and make your app discoverable to the over 20m people already on foursquare.”
This comes as Foursquare also aims to highlight the “big increase in functionality” to the platform which helps users connect with their friends and also discover the area around them, as well as offering an increasing number of targeting abilities for businesses.
“For a lot of people that haven’t used Foursquare in a year or so, they’d definitely be pleasantly surprised [if they came back to the social network]… there’s a lot more functionality there,” said Luedorf.
He also highlights the relatively new service offering businesses “promoted specials” via its local search service Explore that debuted in the US via a trial with 25 “big box retailers” in mid-July
The company is still tweeking this product and it will be made available to even more parties in the US and eventually elsewhere according to Holger adding that Foursquare’s platform lets businesses target users based on location, time and their previous behaviours.
“With Foursquare we don’t want to serve anyone with anything that’s not relevant,” he said. “For instance, we won’t serve anyone with something that’s not within walking-distance or relevant [to their Foursquare interests].”