Twitter June 14 launched its Places geolocation feature for its desktop and mobile Website to let users tag tweets with specific places they’re posting from.
The idea is to boost the context and relevance of the microblog service beyond the construct of typing 140 characters in a box.
Twitter offers this example of a soccer fan tweeting about the World Cup match between Greece and Nigeria from Mangaung/Bloemfontein Stadium in South Africa.
Twitter users, which now number some 190 million, can click the “Tweets about a place” tab in a Twitter Place within a tweet to see recent tweets from a particular location.
The microblog service also integrated Places with Foursquare and Gowalla, which means users of those location-based Web services who publish check-ins to Twitter will see Twitter Places associated with tweets generated by these services.
“This means that if you click on a Twitter Place, such as ‘Ritual Roasters,’ you will see standard Tweets and check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla,” wrote Othman Laraki, who along with Elad Gil sold Mixer Labs to Twitter last December.
Laraki said Twitter is rolling Places out to users in 65 countries, thanks to data partnerships with GPS service provider TomTom and local search provider Localeze. Users can looked for the “Add your location” link below the Tweet box.
At Mixer, Laraki developed GeoAPI, a Web service geared to help software developers build applications that use geolocation services. Revised at Twitter, that API is being released to developers to let them use Twitter Places in their apps, Laraki said.
Also, users may now add location to their tweets from Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browsers. Previously, Twitter offered location support only for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Twitter Places will in time be rolled out to Twitter’s iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps.
Twitter Places marks the coalescence of Twitter’s geolocation strategy. The company switched on its location-sharing feature and made the service opt-in in March, tagging users’ tweets based on where they are tweeting from.