Twitter turns on geolocation functionality

It's currently enabled for external applications, but not yet for Twitter.com

Twitter is now allowing its externally built applications to provide geolocation features to end-users, after announcing its intention to do so in August.

The functionality is provided via a specific geotagging API (application programming interface) that external developers can use to build geolocation features in their applications.

Some applications like Birdfeed, Seesmic Web, Foursquare and Twittelator Pro already have activated geolocation features.

"We are really looking forward to seeing the creative uses emerge from the developer community," wrote Twitter official Ryan Sarver in an official blog post on Thursday.

For end-users, geotagging is disabled by default. They can turn it on by going to their Twitter "settings" section. Twitter plans to activate geotagging on Twitter.com later. For now, it's limited to third-party applications.

With geotagging functionality, developers could let end-users append location coordinates to their Twitter messages and let them search for posts generated specifically from a particular physical place.

For example, a Twitter user could find what people are posting from the place where an important event is happening, or what people are saying about a specific restaurant or store.

Geotagging adds an important spatial dimension to the Twitter user experience, which has had a strong real-time component from the start.

"A lot of what has made Twitter compelling is obviously this flow of real-time information, but what has been a problem is all the noise you get," said industry analyst Greg Sterling from Sterling Market Intelligence. "If you search, say, for 'Boston,' you get lots of stuff that's not particularly relevant nor interesting to you. Now by filtering by location, it makes it more interesting. You can get more targeted and reliable information."

Given the broad and active ecosystem of external developers that has sprouted around Twitter, Sterling expects interesting uses of the geolocation API to start to emerge quickly.

To reduce the chances of privacy and security fiascos, Twitter has been in close contact with developers via its discussion forums and wikis. It even published a best-practices guide for the geolocation API.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twittergeolocation

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?