A giant enters the landscape
According to the post,
“…you can tag Tweets with specific places, including all World Cup stadiums in South Africa, and create new Twitter Places. You can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location.”
A well-strategized foray into the geo-local hotbed, Twitter positioned itself as the unifying piece between the two most popular geo-local players: Foursquare and Gowalla. The move gives users access to standard Tweets and check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla, if users click on a Twitter Place, many of which correlate to check-in points generated by these services.
Stripped of virtual goods and rewards (which, in recent times, have demonstrated tremendous economic potential in the West, after a long history of success in the East), Twitter Places could be the singular feature that renders these services irrelevant, as late-adopting geo-local media users shift toward a community with a markedly larger user base. Despite the laudable achievement that Foursquare accrued users at an initially faster rate than Twitter, the fact is that the competitive landscape is significantly different than it was for Twitter in 2006.
Some, like GigaOm’s Matthew Ingram, look at Twitter’s move as ensuring the longevity of Foursquare’s and Gowalla’s services. Integrated into Twitter’s offering, they will have a place for their own niche, given their gameplay lure that Twitter lacks. Perhaps.
My intuition, however, is that Twitter aims to relegate its would-be competitors to the world of interesting but subservient sub-brands. While I believe that virtual goods and its cousins have yet to reach a saturation point of unearthed demand in the West, I do believe that the space lies across a tech-loving threshold that many potential users are unwilling or don’t care to cross. I may be wrong, though. Hell, FarmVille is a pretty big deal.
The different faces of geo-locality in social media
Geo-locality is undeniably one of the hottest sources of conversation in the social media world. But how, as a concept, it is best utilized and, for lack of better words, serves as an indispensable function remains as unsettled as the Wild West. That is, the question remains: why should we care about geo-locality?
To that end, I’ll assess potential uses and share some thoughts on different applications of geo-local functionality in social media.
The linchpins of geo-locality in social media
Whether these applications of geo-locality will succeed hinges on the general public’s sentiments toward a couple broad trends, I think.
How this all plays out remains to be seen, but I’d to hear your thoughts in the comments section on what the future looks like as we live it.
Trusted Insights and Conversations on the Next Wave of Technology
When Twitter announced at its Chirp conference in May that it planned to launch a new feature called Points of Interest based on a user’s location, the immediate reaction from some was that this would be a “Foursquare-killer.” Instead, the two largest location-based services — Foursquare and Gowalla — are both partners in the feature now known simply as Places, which Twitter announced today on its blog. Users will be able to select from a list of places in their area when they post a tweet from either the Twitter home page, the mobile site, or the Foursquare and Gowalla apps. Twitter said the feature will soon be added to the Twitter apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry as well.
The new feature isn’t just designed to broadcast where you are to all your Twitter followers, however. The company clearly sees it as a way of allowing users to browse through tweets (and Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins) either when they are in a specific location or when they merely want to find out what is happening there.