Twitter’s Places feature has been around for awhile, allowing users to include a location in their tweets, however it looks like the company is expanding Places by including a feature that will let businesses “claim” a location or place, much like Google currently offers with its own Places system.
The Twitter Places feature was originally spotted by the Hacker News community and Dave Winer, who provided a permanent URL for specific locations. The Place page itself contains a list of people who have recently tweeted from that location. As Twitter stands now, you’re able to tweet from a specific location, but the new and exciting part is that the @Twitter account has “claimed” Twitter HQ.
The “claiming” of Place pages looks like a sign that Twitter is shifting and taking geolocation technology more seriously, looking directly at Facebook and Foursquare, the two major companies who presently dominate the space. When this feature is released to the public, and it will be, Twitter will have successfully created a new avenue for businesses to promote themselves.
Place pages themselves aren’t new; Twitter launched them back in June, and although not publically disclosed, the updated Places pages were more than likely launched in conjunction with the New Twitter launch. The “claimed by” feature is the element we haven’t seen before. Twitter has said that claiming Twitter Places isn’t currently available during their development phase, but stated that they are working on a variety of features, and admitted that allowing businesses to claim a Place would be a natural progression for Places.
The big question is what does Twitter plan to do with the Places feature? Perhaps they’re considering Places advertising similar to Google’s Boost? Are they planning to launch their own deals feature? Information is limited now, but we’ll be sure to post all the details during the evolution of Twitter Places.