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We're gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet. 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. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information.
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. There will likely be many use cases we haven't even thought of yet which is part of what makes this so exciting.
I hope that the cool stuff with businesses genuinely trying to engage with local consumers outweigh the inevitably spammy activity.
It's easy to imagine how this might be interesting at an event like a concert or even something more dramatic like an earthquake.Oh, come now, do let's say a nuclear explosion! Wouldn't that be even more "interesting" than a mere earthquake? ;)
Kidding aside, I think it's kind of sad that the best they can say about this for an earthquake is that it would be "interesting." In a major earthquake, I'd like to think people were trying to help their family or neighbors instead of tweeting whose house has fallen down or what neighborhood is on fire...