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Foursquare, Deezer innovating to drive user engagement


Tim Ferguson

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LIVE FROM MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS: The CEOs of Foursquare and Deezer described how they are innovating to drive user engagement in today’s keynote at Congress.

Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley said that the service is slowly becoming “the location layer for the Internet” as more and more people use its check-in tool and personalised local search.

Around 20 per cent of people who use the Explore local search engine within Foursquare, end up checking into a place they have found using the service. “People get what we’re trying to do,” Crowley said.

One million merchants pay Foursquare to access data dashboards for their locations, and the company is now offering merchants the option to pay it to drive a certain number of customers to their locations.

“The merchants are digging it, the users are digging it,” Crowley said.

Another effort to boost user engagement is a deal with MasterCard and Visa, announced this week, to make digital couponing easier. The tie-up will allow users to transfer offers from Foursquare to their payment cards, meaning the deal kicks in when they pay for goods or services.

CEO of music service Deezer, Axel Dauchez, said that innovation is “absolutely critical” but knowing where to focus this innovation is key to driving engagement.

Deezer is aiming to make music a “more intense part of users identity”, according to Dauchez, by providing the means for active music discovery and making the relationship between users and artists more tangible by providing exclusive content.

Integrating the live music experience into the service is also an important element that drives user engagement. “We need to provide a better experience of the gig itself,” Dauchez said.

Although taking down barriers to music discovery is important, Dauchez there is also scope to put in some restrictions to drive user engagement. For example, if a band is making an album, they can make some of music available for a short period of time, which drives a significant rise in user engagement.

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