Integrating location-based discovery is the most under-utilized tool in social technology. Listening in on social conversations taking place across the globe, sorted by location and events feels revolutionary—a "Thomas Edison-like opportunity," one investor said about its potential with Instagram. It does come with some concerns, as the ability to do so does feel a little like the thing Batman created and then made Morgan Freeman destroy at the end of The Dark Knight, as I wrote back then in the Instagram piece.
Well, we will likely soon see how the public feels about it as Twitter is testing out a new local discovery feature. Here are the details, from All Things Digital:
According to multiple sources, Twitter is in the process of testing a new feature that lets you discover tweets from people within a certain distance of your location. The idea is to surface relevant activity based on where you are in the world, serving up tweets from others around you — whether you follow them or not.
The feature, as I understand it, came out of the company’s recent hack week at the beginning of this month, where a few engineers worked on projects related to local discovery. A number of employees have been testing the feature in the Twitter app ever since.
The type of tweets you’d see, ideally, are the most relevant ones nearby, especially when they follow a trend or a flurry of closely connected activity. So a football game or a concert, for instance, may be a great use case here.