Instagram may be seeking a way to replace its Foursquare API with ‘Places’ from its parent company Facebook.
Foursquare is huge in the locations services space, and their free API is used by Vine, Flickr, Pinterest, and Path, among many others. Uber even uses the API to help drivers and passengers zero in on exact pickup locations.
Although Foursquare is constantly updated by its 45 million users and has had billions of check-ins, Facebook could be setting out to make the case that its own location data feed is even more valuable.
Instagram has over 200 million users who upload tens of millions of photos every day, many of which are tied to locations. In that data alone there is information such as which venues are most popular that can be extracted.
That’s one of the reasons Foursquare is so valuable, because it provides similar information to companies. Microsoft recently announced as part of a $15 million investment in Foursquare it will strike a licensing deal for the company’s location data.
Facebook could be trying to give Foursquare the boot, or possibly kill it. However, one thing is for sure, the switch of API’s will challenge Foursquare’s staying power.