What if you could filter tweets by location? Find out what other folks in your neighborhood, town or city are up to. Get the latest local news at a seconds notice. Engage with fellow concert goers or relay important information during earthquakes or other natural disasters.
It may not be that far off according to a post from Twitter’s Biz Stone on the Twitter blog:
“We’re gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet. 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. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information.”
Ryan Sarver, who has led local indexing work at both Skyhook Wireless and Blue Trim, is leading the geolocation platform team for Twitter – so they appear to be in good hands. Although Biz notes that folks will need to activate this new feature by choice, because it will be off by default, I’m guessing many people will embrace the feature (especially while traveling) through their Twitterberry or Tweetie apps in the not too distant future.
While Biz is rightly more interested in the social implications of local Twitter functionality, the implications could be big business, if you think it in terms of the growing local, mobile search market. This is good news for marketers, as analysts are predicting that the majority stake of mobile search advertising revenues will be driven locally by 2013. Local, mobile advertising through twitter, could bring more options.
It’s also good news for those searching for new, hyper-local media business models. Jeff Jarvis has been out at the Aspen Institute this week presenting various models for these hyper-local projects and many of the proposals include the use of twitter coupons. As people begin to filter tweets locally, these new hyper-local news organizations will have the opportunity to grow a larger share of the local voice through twitter. Marketers won’t be far behind, in terms of being open to spending marketing dollars in these types of twitter campaigns.