Thursday, August 20, 2009

Twitter To Add Real-Time Location Feature

Twitter today publicly unveiled efforts to add location features to its app programing interface (API). The new code will let developers of apps, including on the web and on GPS-aware mobile devices like the iPhone, add the latitude and longitude coordinates of the user with any tweet. While developers of apps like Tweetie or Twinkle have often added location data themselves, the new feature would make it possible to see nearby tweets in any app.

This can be a very powerful new feature. Just imagine if a friend tweets something and you are able to know their location when they did it.

There are no shortage of location-based services attempting to take off right now, but Twitter already has a huge user base and depending on how developers use this new API, Twitter location could replace or bolster many of them. And that’s good news because the main problem that many of these location-based services have is a lack of users.

Company co-founder Biz Stone has stressed privacy and that positioning will be strictly optional, requiring that developers or users agree to sending their locations with posts. A timetable isn't yet available for the release, but Twitter plans to deliver the API to outside developers before adding it to its own desktop and mobile-oriented web pages.

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