When people of Iran were enraged earlier this year, post the Iranian elections, people around the world were hooked on Twitter in order to get real-time news updates as it happened. Iranian authorities figured out the threat of Twitter, and sought after local Iranian twitterers based on their profile locations and time zone settings in order to shut them down. People around the world wanted to help those protesters, and started changing their own profiles to make it seem as if they all live in Iran in order to make Iranian authorities mission harder.
That is something from the past, 3 months have passed, today, Twitter is working on adding geo-locations to tweets which will allow us to signal the exact location of where we are tweeting from by allowing apps to attach our latitude and longitude coordinates to tweets we specifically choose to carry such information. That will sure open a whole new dimension to real-time location information.
4 applications you can expect when location-tweets hit mainstream…
What does real-time location tweets mean? and how will it affect our lives? We know that it raises privacy concerns for many legitimate reasons, but we also know that it can be the next big thing which will open the door for many useful applications to take advantage of, and thus we, here at Thoughtpick, decided to voice out what kind of applications we see hitting our doors in the near future:
1. Proximity Marketing
Location Tweets is great news for marketers. They will figure out that they no longer have to annoy their potential clients with uncalled for SMSs, instead they will target you based on your preference and location. For instance, in a mall area, shop keepers would scan tweets coming from the area of the mall, and send special offers accordingly based on the preference of the twitterers. You will tweet “I am looking for a new pair of shoes“, and Adidas store in the mall would reply to you “@You, head directly to our store and you will get 25% discount“. Wouldn’t that be cool? Location tweets can also be used by marketers to provide e-coupons, special offers, catalogue information, and polls/quizzes/questionnaires.
You tweet from your home then you leave for work, you tweet from the metro, you tweet from the office, and later on you tweet from a bar or cafe. You leave breadcrumbs of your steps with every tweet which can be helpful – if you have a busy schedule – to remember where you were and what were you doing at a specific point of time. It is all logged! mibazaar blog already have a cool Google Maps location-tweets mashup that you can check out.
3. Statistical Polling
With many people tweeting from the same area, statistics of opinions can be derived based on locations. This data can be of great importance for politicians and marketers. We can now figure out better what is the stand of a whole neighbourhood for a certain cause/issue.
4. Know Your Neighbour
This is already implemented but can be done much better and more accurately with location tweets. TwitARound is a really cool application; you can just point your iPhone to a certain direction and read the tweets of people in that direction! Awesome, isn’t it? With location tweets, you can lay on your bed and move your phone around to listen to your neighbours!
Twitter has already opened the API for developers to start coming up with useful applications before it rolls out the new feature. We trust developers to come up with real innovative and exciting ideas. The prospect of location tweets does really excite us. We look forward for what ever is coming.
Which of the application ideas we presented above interests you the most? Do you have any ideas yourself that you’d love to have once location-tweets makes it to mainstream? Please feel free to share it with us in the comment section.