Twitter Stream - TownMeMore Location based services are coming to Twitter soon (in November they introduced their first geotagging capabilities).  You can read about the Twitter’s acquisition of Mixer Labs and the GeoAPI (previously TownMe API) here.  Now, I know a lot of people worry about the stalker-ish feeling of geo-enabled services and apps, but if you carry a cellphone you are track able and it’s just a question of whether or not you publish that information publicly.

In the case of geo-Twittering I’d like to highlight a couple of ways you could benefit without just further contributing to the general flow of minutia that is often associated with Twitter.

Real Time Search

If you’re like me you’ve turned to Twitter more than once for real-time information about something.  For me it’s primarily been things like blackouts, earthquakes, plumes of smoke in the distance, and other similar things that just couldn’t be covered effectively by standard news media.  I’ve always had to search for keywords or tags to find what I was looking for, usually combining multiple searches to get a complete answer.  The addition of location information would enable searches by proximity to be combined with the keywords netting a significantly better result.  I’d really like to see someone use this feature to create a method for communicating DUI checkpoints and the locations of motorcycle cops and their damn radar guns (hey, it’s worked for decades with CB radios, why not Twitter?).


Organize Your Night Out

You have to have a certain critical mass of tech savvy friends for this to work, but when you have flakey friends or you don’t know exactly which bar (or house) everyone will end up at sometimes it’s just easier to tweet your location (or post it to Facebook) and let people find you.  This is the same concept as Google Latitude or Loopt, but without the constant location updates.  I help host a bar crawl every summer and next year you’ll definitely be able to track us online.


So, marketing is not exactly going to ‘benefit’ you, but the addition of geo-location information to Twitter does open the door to some intriguing marketing opportunities (advertising based on location and various contests come to mind).  This is of particular importance as it may develop into a way for Twitter generate some significant revenue.

Even if you wont use these new features directly thousands of users of sites like Seesmic Web, Foursquare, etc can look forward to more robust feature sets.

I’m looking forward to finding out exactly what Twitter has planned for this bit of tech.