Over at ReadWriteWeb there’s an interesting piece about the 140 Twitter Conference which reveals more of Twitter’s plans for the future, courtesy of API Lead Alex Payne. (See my article yesterday for more on this.)
As told to Robert Scoble, Payne states that Twitter may soon be adding location-based information to each and every submitted tweet. Currently, users can enter their location information in their profiles but it’s hardly scientific – you can put whatever you want – and this ‘geo-referencing’, or geotagging, will allow users to find specific information on anything that is area or location-based – for example, restaurants, museums, art galleries, pubs, and so on.
As is usual with many vague Twitter announcements, the news hasn’t been taken particularly well. The primary concern is whether we’ll be able to opt out of such a feature, or if Twitter will force geo-referencing into every tweet whether we want it or not. Yes, it’s very much a matter of privacy. The idea of location-based tracking is fine in principle, but it raises concerns for everybody, and not just celebrities. Some of us like the idea that our friends and followers can find us wherever we are, or have been; others do not.
Yes, this is a ‘might’ idea from Twitter, but it seems a fairly logical one if they’re going to pursue this dream of being the all-purpose utility. It is, after all, already a feature on the iPhone and many other websites and applications.
So here’s my question:
I’m going to leave this poll open until more data arrives from Twitter, so check back regularly for updates.
UPDATE: Security expert Graham Cluley has a must-read post about his concerns on his blog.