Twitter to Launch Geolocation APIs
The company is giving third-party developers access before they enable the feature on Twitter.com. They will, however add the feature, and it will, most importantly, be opt-in.
That's important, because there are privacy implications. And that’s why it’s a good decision to make this feature opt-in. Of course, location-based services (LBS) are a hot trend, so it makes sense that Twitter would want to hop onto the bandwagon.
Here's what Twitter founder Biz Stone had to say:
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.Twitter's turned into a news feed for breaking news events, and LBS information will serve to validate tweets, so that (assuming folks opt-in) you can tell who's really tweeting from the site of the event. There are, of course, tons of other uses for LBS on Twitter (which is why Twitter-based services such as Twinkle have already jumped into the ring).
Good to see that Twitter itself will join the party.