Geolocation finds its way to Twitter

Twitter is working on a new API that will allow people to add geolocation data to their tweets.

Geolocation finds its way to Twitter

As it stands, Twitter users can add any location they want to their profile – a feature described by Twitter-founder Biz Stone as “interesting but not very dependable.” In an effort to flesh it out, the new API can add longitude and latitude data to tweets, potentially opening up a world of possibilities for developers.

“For example, with accurate, tweet-level location data you could switch from reading the tweets of accounts you follow to reading tweets from anyone in your neighborhood or city–whether you follow them or not. It’s easy to imagine how this might be interesting at an event like a concert or even something more dramatic like an earthquake,” Stone notes in his blog.

Stone failed to note the commercial uses, but given the company’s drive to begin making money they’re clearly a factor. It’s easy to imagine businesses using the feature to reach out to customers in specific areas.

He also moved to head off the inevitable flurry of privacy concerns: “Folks will need to activate this new feature by choice because it will be off by default and the exact location data won’t be stored for an extended period of time,” he adds.

Intriguingly, Stone claims the company will release the API to developers before it’s incorporated into the Twitter website, meaning the race is now on to see which Twitter client will incorporate the API first.

There’s no word on when the API will be released.

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