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Twitter to make it easier for users to show where they are

March 3, 2010 |  6:00 am
Twitterlogo Several third-party Twitter applications allow users to include their location, specified by their exact latitude and longitude, in status updates. It's a nice way to share location with friends, but it's not specific enough. Plus, it's difficult to understand.

To address that, Twitter has announced that its geo-tagging Application Programming Interface will soon include "places."

Twitter employee Raffi Krikorian wrote on the company's developer forum that most users prefer to share their exact location, rather than a "latitude and longitude pair." So, instead of a series of numbers to describe location, third-party apps will soon allow users to include "human readable" location information, such as a specific neighborhood or city, in tweets they send out from those apps.

The importance of adding specific places to a person's tweets can't be understated. Latitude and longitude information is useless if a user truly wants to share their information. And considering services such as Foursquare make it easy for folks to share their exact location with others, the social network had no choice but to catch up and add places to the API.

Twitter didn't say when it will update its geo-tagging API, but it will be available to U.S. users first. It plans to roll it out internationally at some point in the future.

-- Don Reisinger