Friday, December 25, 2009

Twitter deal will add location services to Tweets

Purchase of Mixer Labs will show Twitter users' location as they share what they are seeing or experiencing

Twitter is buying a startup called Mixer Labs in an effort to pinpoint the locations of people posting short messages on its service.

Financial terms of the deal announced late last night have not been disclosed.

Mixer Labs, founded by former Google employees, developed a location-tracking tool called GeoAPI.

Evan Williams, Twitter chief executive, said that GeoAPI could prove helpful by showing where people are as they share what they are seeing or experiencing.

He wrote on Twitter's blog: "We want to know What's happening?, and more precisely, Where is it happening? As a dramatic example, twittering 'Earthquake!' alone is not as informative as 'Earthquake!' coupled with your current location."

"We will be looking at how to integrate the work Mixer Labs has done with the Twitter API in useful ways that give developers behind geo-enabled apps like Birdfeed, Seesmic Web, Foursquare, Gowalla,Twidroid, Twittelator Pro and other powerful new possibilities. We look forward to building features together that will make Twitter even more interesting and relevant to your daily life, no matter where you are," Mr Williams added.

About 58 million people around the world use Twitter, which accommodates messages of up to 140 characters.

Twitter, based in San Francisco, has raised about $155 million from investors since its 2006 inception.

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