Burgeoning micro blogging and social networking tool Twitter has announced plans to add location based service to its platform.
To date, Twitter’s API (Application Programming Interface) has only allowed developers to roll out location based services based on the information in the ‘location’ field of a user’s account, which really could say anything.
Now the platform is gearing up to launch a feature that will add the user’s latitude and longitude to any tweet. This could allow twitter users to see content from people in their neighbourhood or city, without having to follow them first.
Naturally, the initiative raises privacy issues, and Twitter says the feature will need to be activated by participating users as it will be off by default. The company also said that it won’t store location data “for an extended period of time”.
Twitter did not say when the geolocation feature will be released, only that it would be releasing the feature to developers before it is added to the Twitter web and mobile sites.
Location is all the rage and is coming to be seen as an exclusive source of revenue for carriers. Telecoms.com recently spoke to Simon Buckingham, CEO of content specialist mobile streams and US-based location firm Zoombak, who said that access to location data is becoming essential in a mature industry on the way to commoditisation. “Operators can no longer rely on their old business models where voice, text and roaming were charged at a significant premium. Those business models are end of life now. Operators need to recognise that they have to embrace innovation. And the thing that they have that nobody else has, is control over access to location information. This is the time to make that information available; if they don’t do it now their relevance is going to diminish,” he said.
Will regulators ever be able to catch up with the rate of change in the telco/tech industry?
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