Twitter, Foursquare Geo-Deal Could Boost Customer Engagement

Adding more location-based functionality to Twitter could enable the social media site to better engage with users in relevant ways, which is why the company is reportedly exploring a partnership with Foursquare. The two companies are considering teaming up next year to bring more geo-based features to tweets, according to a report Wednesday in Business Insider.

Citing a source "familiar with the deal," Business Insider reported that the addition of location-based information could help Twitter users discover information not only by timeliness but by relevance to their locations. That could also enable the company to work with advertisers to deliver more location-specific ads to users.

The article also pointed to Twitter's recent hiring of David Blackman, who previously worked on geo-infrastructure at Foursquare. The company is also seeking to fill a number of software engineering positions.

Location: A 'Vehicle of Discovery'

While it's probably not the first site people tend to think of when looking for location-based insights, Twitter has long recognized the potential value of geo-focused content. It currently allows mobile users to add location information -- either general or by street coordinates -- to their tweets, although the location function is disabled by default. Users can also delete all their past location-based tags from tweets through Twitter's security and privacy settings.

Twitter views location-based information as a "vehicle of discovery," according to the source cited in the Business Insider article. The source said a partnership with Foursquare could enable the company to roll out venue-check-in-type functionality for tweets.

Testing 'Nearby'

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog reported that Twitter "appears to be testing a new timeline for its mobile app, called 'Nearby.'" The geo-based timeline feature, "has appeared occasionally in recent days on the phone of users who allow Twitter to see and use their location," according to the blog...

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