Mobile

Twitter Lets Users Specify Their Locations With Help From Foursquare

Twitter has cut a deal with Foursquare to let users tag their tweets with much more specific location information, Twitter announced in a blog post on Monday (March 23).

Users have long been able to add a general location label to tweets, such as “SoMa, San Francisco.” But with the Foursquare agreement, Twitter mobile app users will soon get a drop-down menu that will display specific businesses and other locations provided by Foursquare from its check-in database. The locations on the menu are based on a mobile device’s GPS and other sensors.

The new system is designed to work with both Twitter’s iOS and Android apps. For the moment, though, it only works “in select locations,” Twitter said.

Foursquare built its reputation (and location database) on check-ins by its users, including a recognition system that used points, badges and the ability for a user to be crowned “mayor” of a particular location if that user checked in from that spot more times than anyone else in the previous 60 days. By the end of 2013, Foursquare said it had 45 million registered users.

But the company has spent the past year trying to regain its footing after a reorganization that spun off the check-in features into a separate app called Swarm, and converted the namesake Foursquare app to a more conventional search and recommendation model.

Twitter isn’t the first partner that has gotten access to Foursquare’s location database, which the company says contains more than 60 million crowdsourced entries. In February 2014, Foursquare announced that it licensed the database to Microsoft for use with Windows Mobile devices.

It’s also not clear what else Twitter may be planning to use the location feature for, once it’s rolled out to all locales. But Twitter’s “Buy Now” feature, which the company finally rolled out in January for some small businesses, would seem to be a good fit for location-specific eCommerce.

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