Thursday, June 17, 2010

Twitter Pushes into Places

Earlier this week Twitter announced Twitter Places, allowing users to associate tweets with specific places, not just latitude/longitude or data pushed in from other services (Twitter Places: More Context For Your Tweets). Up until this announcement, you could associate a tweet with a specific place by pushing a location with the tweet, as Brighkite does when it pushes an update to Twitter. Twitter even made best-guesses from your latitude/longitude to regions on a map (such as "central business district" or general community names). Now the Twitter web site and mobile site will support this feature so you don't need to rely on an additional application. The mobile applications, however, do not yet support it.

Twitter has said it is working on an API to allow developers to integrate Twitter places into their applications. In addition, even more browsers should support the ability to add your location to a tweet thanks to some partnerships with other providers. Twitter has also claimed Foursquare and Gowalla integration:

Foursquare and Gowalla integration: Many Foursquare and Gowalla users publish check-ins to Twitter. Location is a key component of these Tweets, so we worked closely with both companies to associate a Twitter Place with Tweets generated by these services. This means that if you click on a Twitter Place, such as "Ritual Roasters," you will see standard Tweets and check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla.

When I bring up the "add your location" menu in Twitter to see my options for a place, my current venue (Algonquin Studios) is not in there. I know the venue exists in Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite, but it is not an option for me. I checked in to Algonquin Studios using Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite (just in case you need to somehow initialize a venue in your list of options) and have pushed tweets from Foursquare and Brightkite from this venue. But no luck, it still doesn't show up in the list.

The menu options, but no 'Algonquin Studios.'

Given that I already use location-based services to track my posts, there is nothing in the Twitter Places feature, as of yet, that will move me away from them. The fact that I cannot even select a valid location means I probably won't be trying this feature again for a while.

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