Twitter is testing its long-awaited geolocation technology on the micro-blogging service, which will enable users to identify the location of their tweets on the web and via mobile phones. The new feature, which will be open to third-party developers, is opt-in, which should nullify concerns over privacy.
Geolocation is in the very early stages of being tested on parts of the network, but some Twitter users following the development have already reported that small red pin shaped dots appear on a map alongside their tweets. A number of third-party geolocation based services already exist on Twitter, but they have all failed to gain serious traction due to the lack of people signing up.
However, Twitter has big hopes for geolocation and it is expected to be more successful than other attempts because it has been developed using Twitter's API. The move was announced by a Twitter staffer, Raffi Krikorian, on the company's Google group page.
Raffi Krikorian, said on the group: "As some of you may have already noticed, we've started going through the first steps to get the geolocation API out our door. There are a few more steps in the process that i want to share with all of you. There will also always be a tag in the status object regardless of whether there is a location attached to the tweet or not. If there is no location, then the tag will be empty. If there is a location, then the tag will be populated."
Krikorian suggested Twitter is close to a full public roll out: "Just to lay out a timeline - we've deployed for internal testing, and soon we'll be turning this on for the general audience."