Twitter has announced that it will be adding a new location-based API to its micro-blogging service. The company plans to launch a geolocation feature that will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any Tweet. While users can currently specify account-level location information as part of their profiles, the data isn’t very reliable. The new feature will make Twitter completely location-aware, adding a new layer of context to each tweet of information.
“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,” wrote Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone on the company blog.
Along with this new feature, users will have the opportunity to read only the Tweets of accounts from certain neighborhoods or cities—whether they follow them or not. Stone provides several examples when this type of data could come in handy, such as during an earthquake or an event like a concert. He adds, “There will likely be many use cases we haven’t even thought of yet which is part of what makes this so exciting.”
Twitter plans to release geolocation to platform developers first and expects to have it available as an app of choice before it’s available on Twitter’s Web site.