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Twitter Buys Geolocation Startup Mixer Labs

In an attempt to make its platform more ‘location aware’, the micro-blogging giant Twitter has acquired Mixer Labs, whose GeoAPI tool will pinpoint the location of people posting messages or ‘tweets’ on the website.

Mixer Labs was founded by two former Google employees, Elad Gil and Othman Laraki with a mission to provide location as a service. The GeoAPI includes a Reverse Geocoder, 16 million business listings and points of interest and a writable layer which allows developers to add their own annotation of places and entities and do complex geo-queries against this data.

The announcement was made by Twitter CEO Evan Williams on the company blog which said that “Twitter and Mixer Labs will be working to combine the contextual relevance of location to tweets. We want to know what’s happening? and more precisely, Where is it happening?”

Twitter, which allows its members to post 140 characters long messages, will be working closely with the Mixer Labs team to integrate GeoAPI with the Twitter API and will look to give the developers of Birdfeed, Gowalla, Twidroid, and Twittelator Pro ‘powerful’ tools that will make Twitter more interesting and relevant in our daily lives.

Our Comments

If you can build it, buy it. It is almost certainly the last acquisition Twitter will do this year but 2010 could well see more as the website tries to build a business model around its service. Back in July 2008, it acquired Summize, a search engine tool, to replace its own.

Related Links

Twitter Acquires Mixer Labs To Step Up Geo-Location (opens in new tab)

(Tech Crunch)

Twitter buys start-up firm (opens in new tab)

(Google)

Twitter to get location-aware with Mixer Labs acquistion (opens in new tab)

(Pocket-lint)

Twitter buys developers of GeoAPI (opens in new tab)

(CNET)

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.

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