The company recently hosted its first hack day, and now they have hired Akshay Patil, formerly the product manager in charge of Google’s real-time search, to be a platform evangelist at Foursquare.
Patil’s challenge will be to convince outside developers that Foursquare is a stable and lucrative partner. As Marshall Kirkpatrick pointed out over at Read Write Web, a lot of third party applications have been burnt in recent months by Twitter.
One advantage Foursquare has is a natural link between its service and local business. This may prove a crucial hook in wooing app builders to exploit the rich trove of data produced by Foursqure check ins.
Taking the speculation one step further, Patil’s experience with real time may help him to find great partners for Foursquare’s new recommendation product, which they rolled out just in time for the most recent SXSWi.
As Patil wrote on Quora, “People are becoming sensor nodes, reporting information about the world around them. They’re complaining about the security line at JFK, photographing the fire engines outside their neighbor’s house, and checking in to their holiday party. They’re sharing the latest YouTube kitten video they watched, reacting to red-carpet photos, and writing answers to questions on Quora. Finding these sort of updates and showing them to users is a hard problem, but an intensely satisfying one.”