Since launching in 2007, Factual has worked to become a leader in collecting location data on the Web, building a database of 65 million businesses – including restaurants and hotels.
But now, instead of just collecting location data, the Century City company has started analyzing it.
Factual released two products Tuesday to help mobile app developers and publishers better understand the habits of their users.
Tyler Bell, director of product at Factual, said its customers were asking for tools to interpret the data they were collecting.
"They said they liked our data but that they weren't going to use it for local search," he said. "Instead, they wanted to understand their audience better. We are always going to do location and place data, but we will also better understand how mobile users engage with the commercial world around them."
The first product, Geopulse Audience, collects coordinates every time someone opens a particular app. Looking at these coordinates over time allows Factual to understand a person's habits and, potentially, their interests.
For example, Factual client MoPub, a mobile ad exchange, plans to use Geopulse Audience to sell targeted ads to advertisers.
The second product, Geopulse Proximity, weeds through all the location coordinates that publishers collect to find which coordinates are most important to an advertiser. One application could be to send a promoted tweet for Lowes anytime someone opens Twitter at a Home Depot. Cloud marketing platform Turn will use Geopulse Proximity to run such advertising campaigns around locations.
Because Factual is now working with personal information, the company has created strict privacy rules, Bell said. It uses anonymous IDs for all users and purges its input data every two weeks.
Bell also said Factual will never sell the data it is interpreting to an outside entity or work for clients who intended to resell the customer data.
"We process the data and return the profiles to the customer only," he said. "We're focused on not violating the relationships of trust between the customer and the advertiser."