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Twitter Brings Geolocation Feature To Developers

Microblogging phenomenon Twitter will be adding a new API to its SDK and will allow third party app developers to add location services to their offerings.

In a move that is reminescent of Google's Geolocation service called Latitude, Tweets will have location based metadata attached to them including latitude and longitude details.

The announcement was made by Biz Stone in a post on Twitter.com's Blog (opens in new tab). He also confirmed that developers will have access to the feature before it is fully rolled out on Twitter.

It is likely that mobile users will benefit from this improvement since Twitter applications for smartphones like the iPhone or the HTC Magic come with built in GPS.

To prevent any abuse of the system, Twitter has decided that geolocation will be off by default and will leave users to decide whether or not they want to activate it.

Stone added that "if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information".

And to quell any fears that could arise about any privacy invasion, Twitter has confirmed that the exact location data won't be stored for an extended period of time, which means that the data will be stored by Twitter.

Our Comments

Location based services are the next big thing to happen in the world of tech. This is because more and more of computing is becoming mobile and personal. Ultimately the next step will be pervasive technology coupled with location based features.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.