Blue Skies Ahead

AccuWeather Taps Foursquare to Power Location Features for Consumers and Advertisers

Edward Tinsley
Aug 29, 2018 · 5 min read

Weather and location tech have always gone hand in hand. While smartphones raised consumer expectations for precise forecasts, the technology embedded in them opened up a world of opportunity for weather companies looking to innovate.

That’s why for the next evolution of its industry-leading weather app, AccuWeather turned to us, the leading location technology platform, to power new features for both its 20 million monthly app users and its deep bench of world-class advertising partners.

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AccuWeather is integrating Pilgrim SDK by Foursquare, our location superpower that connects the physical world to the digital world, by understanding when mobile devices move in and out of more than 105 million venues worldwide. This means that Foursquare’s always-on, opt-in panel (which is currently 25 million people strong) will grow significantly, allowing us to further refine our map of the world and our understanding of foot traffic trends.

AccuWeather’s approach to location data and how it can be used to deliver the most accurate weather forecast for specific locations aligns with Foursquare’s vision of the future: one day, every app you use will become personalized based on where you are and the places you go. Since launching last year, our Pilgrim SDK has been leveraged by global brands and developers — including Tinder and Capital One — to power contextual, location-based experiences. AccuWeather is looking to expand its ability to offer this personalized experience for its users too, and for the many AccuWeather advertisers looking to connect with consumers based on where they go.

Here’s how it will work for consumers:

For AccuWeather users who opt in to sharing background location, Pilgrim SDK will power a hyper-local place recommendation engine within MinuteCast®, AccuWeather’s patented minute-by-minute precipitation forecast up to two hours feature, to make the experience more personalized. This is the first step in our long-term partnership that will bring together the world’s most accurate weather data with Foursquare’s best-in-class place recommendations.

Ultimately, this feature will be able to proactively ping users and suggest places to go based on their location at that time and the current weather forecast. Need to wait out the rain? How about the highly rated coffee shop next door. Record-breaking scorcher? The app will tell you that there’s a tiny strip of beach or public pool around the corner.

No other platform can enable this type of personalized experience and offer a creative new way for consumers to plan their lives around the weather. All this is thanks to Foursquare’s nearly 10 years of collecting, analyzing and interpreting more than 13 billion check-ins and mobile phone movement data.

(It’s hugely important to us that we note that location sharing via AccuWeather will be entirely opt-in for all AccuWeather app users, and location awareness can be turned off at any time. For more on AccuWeather’s privacy policy, click here, and for details on Foursquare’s privacy policy, click here. As always, when Foursquare data is analyzed or leveraged across our product portfolio, it is aggregated, anonymized and/or pseudonymized.)

“Our chief mission at AccuWeather is to deliver the most accurate weather information to our users to help them make more informed decisions about their day and ultimately protect the things that matter most to them by giving them the right information at the right time, right where they are,” said Steve Smith, President of Digital Media. “We are now able to make the weather forecasts we provide even more actionable by tying weather and place together. By embedding Foursquare’s location intelligence into our core products, AccuWeather will be able to keep users safe and more prepared than ever before by giving them a physical understanding of what is around them, especially during times of severe weather.”

Here’s how it will work for advertisers:

In a first-of-its-kind implementation, Foursquare’s SDK will be used to develop location-based audience segments so that advertisers can reach AccuWeather’s 20 million plus users based on where they go in the real world. The location data (which, again, is always anonymized, pseudonymized and/or aggregated) will allow AccuWeather’s expansive network of advertisers to connect with AccuWeather’s users based on real world context. For example, a fast food chain with a new line of salads can reach people who frequently visit gyms, hiking trails or organic shops, or an auto brand with a family friendly SUV can connect with people who visit baby stores, schools and toy stores.

If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the foundation of our own advertising product, Pinpoint, that reaches more than 150 million mobile devices (outside of our apps) across the U.S. based on real world behavior. This is the first time that we’ve used our core Pilgrim technology to build similar segments for another platform within their userbase. We know how valuable the insights and capabilities are for our advertising partners so we’re bringing the concept to AccuWeather.

Additionally AccuWeather will continue to provide an increasingly relevant user experience by showing ads that utilize relevant contextual targeting based on factors including location searches, weather conditions, and other content that users see or engage with on its free mobile app.

This is yet another example of how Foursquare can embed with leading brands and developers to build deep, thoughtful and cross-functional location capabilities. These types of collaborations enable everything from great consumer experiences to advertising capabilities to analytical insights. Our dedicated product team works hand in hand with partners to build and implement unique location capabilities. We love helping others innovate.

Want to learn more about how Foursquare’s developer tools can open up opportunities within your own app? Visit our website or email us at


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