Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
Twitter is about to catch up to Facebook circa 2011. The self-styled information network recently announced it will partner with Foursquare to let users tag your tweets with specific locations. Until now, including a location in a tweet only added the general area individuals were in, such as a city.
With Foursquare's database of more than 65 million places worldwide, Twitter will be able to let users get a lot more specific. Twitter recently published a video showing its new Foursquare location mash-up in action. At first glance, it's a set-up that Facebook users will be immediately familiar with.
Based on the video, when users decide to add their location to a tweet, they'll be presented with a list of nearby businesses or places of interest in the immediate area. They can then just select the location that best represents where they are and all followers will be able to see if it's a café near the user's house or the pizza joint across the street.
Twitter's video didn't show what happens if a user shares a location automatically in all their tweets. Will the app automatically select the most likely location, or will it default to a general location as it does now?
The story behind the story: With Foursquare, Twitter gets a powerful location database that it can immediately roll out worldwide--assuming the deal covers everything Foursquare has to offer. For Foursquare, Twitter and its nearly 300 million active users is another big addition to the location platform. In addition to Twitter, Foursquare powers or contributes to the location services for a number of big online services including Microsoft's Cortana and Bing local search, Flickr, and Waze.
When does it launch?
Twitter hasn't announced when the new location options will roll out to mobile users other than to say it's coming soon. It's also not clear if the location offering will be available on all its mobile apps, including BlackBerry and Windows Phone, or if this will first be an iOS/Android service.