updated 07:19 pm EST, Sat December 14, 2013
Twitter looking to add location-based features
Twitter is reportedly working on an addition to its service that will show users tweets from other Twitter users near them. The Wall Street Journal reported on the "Nearby" feature on Saturday, saying that it will allow Twitter to more accurately target users with advertising specific to their location and interests. Reportedly, the feature has shown up several times on the smartphones of users that allow Twitter to access their location data.
Twitter has allowed users to add location data to their tweets since 2010, but the new feature would be aimed at providing users with a more digestible and easier to understand Twitter feed. Pressing the "Nearby" icon will present the user with a split screen, wherein the upper half is a map indicating the user's current location. The lower portion of the screen will show a timeline of recent nearby tweets, and the users' locations will be marked on the map.
The location-based feature is voluntary, and users can opt out of it by altering their location services settings.
A timeline for when the feature may roll out was not provided. Asked for comment on the report, a Twitter spokesperson declined to say anything specific. Instead, the spokesperson said that Twitter frequently experiments with features in order to improve its user experience.