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Foursquare uses their global foot traffic data to accurately predict iPhone sales

I am a fan and long time user of Foursquare – now known as both Foursquare and Swarm.

Foursquare has struggled against competitors such as Yelp.com when it comes to local business recommendations. And I have less than 100 friends on my Swarm. It doesn’t seem to be that popular here in Toronto.

But I’ve always loved the data collection aspect of Foursquare / Swarm. Even though most people don’t seem to care about that. When I check-in somewhere, such as the gym, it’ll tell me how many weeks in a row I’ve been there, whether it’s a new personal record, who else is nearby, and a host of other things.

I’ve always felt like there was so much potential in all of the data it was collecting.

Well the company is starting to make better use of that data. Recently they used their foot traffic data at Apple stores (I am assuming this goes beyond just check-in data) to predict the number of iPhones that Apple was going to sell globally following the launch of the 6s and 6s Plus.

They predicted between 13 to 15 million handsets and it turns out they were right:

This validates the accuracy of our prediction and while we’re proud of the result, we certainly aren’t surprised. Foursquare’s data is essentially the world’s biggest panel of foot traffic data — we have the best sense of the trends and patterns of the movement of people and their phones around the world.

This is powerful stuff. If there were a way for me to be bullish on Foursquare beyond just writing this post, I would be.

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