For a long time, Instagram’s location services have been powered by Foursquare’s vast venue database. That might change in the future. According to a new report, Instagram is now testing Facebook Places integration as a possible replacement for Foursquare. If this eventually happens, its unlikely to surprise anyone considering the fact that Facebook owns Instagram.
Foursquare’s venue database is actually quite extensive. Its also regularly updated by the services’ more than 45 million users, with countless check-ins. Quite a lot of services use Foursquare’s API to tap into its database, services such as Vine, Flickr, Path and even Pinterest. Even the Uber car service relies upon it to let users find exact pickup locations.
A few Instagram users have noticed that the app is now using Facebook Places instead of Foursquare to pull location data. A spokesperson for Instagram tells Fast Company that it constantly tests experiences throughout the app to ensure that it provides “best possible user experience as part of future planning.” The spokesperson also added that “Foursquare is a great partner,” but didn’t explicitly comment if it will not be replaced by Facebook Places.
Even if Foursquare is replaced, Instagram users will still be able to share their check-ins with it, just like they can share photos with Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.