While Facebook Ponders, Twitter Launches Location

Facebook has been actively testing multiple location products and considering various implementations of some form of location feature, however Twitter has announced their official plans for location. While the implementation of Twitter’s new location feature isn’t exactly surprising, it highlights the company’s ability to push out product iterations quickly, something that Facebook has often touted as one of their competitive advantages.

Called “Twitter Places”, the product enables users to “tag Tweets with specific places […] and create new Twitter Places.” It’s an extremely simple implementation however it adds a ton of context. Additionally, the product integrates with Foursquare and Gowalla, two of the leading location services. While there is a ton of hype around location, the true value comes from targeted advertising based on locality, something that is still in the distance for Twitter.

Right now both Twitter and Facebook have been forced to consider how to implement their service with out angering a community of Foursquare and Gowalla users. For the most part, Twitter’s new implementation extracts much of the value initially created by Foursquare and Gowalla, relegating them to yet another service for viewing what your friends are doing. While you’ll be able to go to either service to view where your friends are, the most obvious place to go will be Twitter and Facebook, rather than checking out multiple destination sites.

While Twitter isn’t implementing a badges service right now, that’s one of the few features that Foursquare provides over Twitter at this point. The only question for these businesses to answer now is whether or not location-based rewards are the killer feature or if location can stand alone.

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