Twitter Starts the new Location Feature Launched of US users

March 12, 2010
Filed under: Featured, Technology News, Twitter 

Finally Twitter Launched the new Location feature in USA last night.

Every day, millions of tweets are created. These little bursts of information are about anything and everything—they make Twitter a hub for discovering what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world. A recent burst of interest in location sharing applications, games, and services has many Twitter users excited about appending geographic data to some of their tweets.

About the Tweet With Your Location Feature

Twitter’s Tweet With Your Location feature allows you to selectively add location information to your Tweets. This feature is off by default and you will need to opt-in to use it. You can find out how to start using this feature on the How to Tweet With Your Location help page; this article is an overview of the feature.

Once you’ve opted-in, you will be able to add your location information to individual Tweets as you compose them on Twitter.com and with other applications or mobile devices that support this feature. The location information that is shared publicly can be either your exact location (your coordinates) or your place (like a neighborhood or town).

Tweeting with your place or coordinates can add context to your updates and help you join the local conversation, wherever you are. For example, here’s a weather report from Coleen, tweeting from the SoMA neighborhood in San Francisco:

Coleen_shadow.jpg

Meanwhile, John tweeted his exact point in the San Francisco International Airport, as he awaits to board a plane full of nerds en route to the SXSW conference:

John_shadow-1.jpg

Even once you turn Tweet with Your Location on, you have additional control over which Tweets (and what type of location information) is shared. The FAQ below has more information about how locations are displayed with your Tweets.

Your Privacy and Tweet with Location

We want you to have control over how and when your location information is shared. Tweet With Location is off by default, and as a user you need to opt-in to the service. You can turn Tweet With Location on or off at any time, as well as clear your location before you Tweet. You can also delete all your past location data with a single click (the How to Tweet With Your Location help page has instructions to do this).

It’s already a good idea to be cautious and careful about the amount of information you share online. There may be some updates where you want to share your location (“The parade is starting now.” or “A truck just spilled delicious candy all over the roadway!”), and some updates where you want to keep your location private. Just like you might not want to tweet your home address, please be cautious in tweeting coordinates you don’t want others to see.

Remember that when you’re opted in to Tweet With Your Location, you can still select to not share your location for individual Tweets, or choose to share a more general location level if your application allows. Please familiarize yourself with our general location settings and the settings of any applications and devices you tweet with so that you are always aware of the information you share. Remember, once you post something online, it’s out there for others to see.

Tweet With Your Location FAQ

What location information is displayed?

All geolocation information begins as an exact location (latitude and longitude), which is sent from your browser or device. Twitter won’t show any location information unless you’ve opted-in to the feature, and have allowed your device or browser to transmit your coordinates to us. Based on that information, Tweets can be annotated with just that exact location, with a place (a town or neighborhood), or with both types of information.

For each Tweet, we will publicly display whatever location information you’ve elected to share. For example, if you update from Twitter Mobile and have specified that a particular Tweet should show your exact location, these coordinates can be seen on Twitter.com, Twitter mobile, and in third-party applications.

If you choose to only share your place, those Tweets will only be displayed with the general neighborhood information. Application developers are required to be up-front and obvious about whether your exact coordinates will be displayed, or just the place. When you tweet from a third-party application or mobile device, it should be clear which type of data will be publicly displayed.

Why do I see a pin-pointed exact location for some Tweets but only the general vicinity (neighborhood or city) for others?

Tweets can display the place, exact coordinates, or both. The default display is place location (like neighborhood or town). For example, this Tweet only shows a place (the neighborhood SoMa in San Francisco):

Ginger-Place.jpg




If you select your exact location to be displayed, the actual coordinate can be publicly shared. In the Tweet below, you’ll see a exact point marker within the map, and another marker to the right of the “from SoMa, San Francisco” Tweet information:

TYip-ExactCoordinates.jpg

What location information does Twitter store?

Similarly to how we store the time stamp that says when the Tweet was made, Twitter stores the location information that is publicly displayed with a Tweet for as long as the Tweet exists (or until you click the “clear my location history” button on the Settings page as described here).

If you chose to tweet with a place, but not to share your exact coordinates, Twitter still needs to use your coordinates to determine your Place. In order to improve the accuracy of our geolocation systems (for example, the way we define neighborhoods and places), Twitter will temporarily store those coordinates for 6 months.

Which browsers support tweeting with location?

Firefox 3.5 and Google Chrome on Windows support tweeting with location. To use this feature on Twitter.com with other browsers (older versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer), you’ll need to download Google Gears.

What about international users?

At this time Tweet With Your Location is only available in the United States. So other Users has to still wait for some time

How To Tweet With Your Location

If you are not sure what tweeting with your location is, please visit our About Tweet With Your Location help page for more information.  Please note that this feature is currently only available for US users – Twitter’s @support account will let you know when it’s available in other countries.

How do I tweet with my location?

Because tweeting with your location is disabled by default for everyone, you must first make sure you have enabled tweeting with location from your Account Settings.

Once you’ve enabled it, applications will be able to tag a tweet with your exact location. You can always disable it and remove all location history from the Settings page, as discussed below.

Using Tweet With Your Location

To tweet with your location on a per-tweet basis after you’ve enabled Tweet Location, click the crosshair icon that appears below your update box on the lower left.

You will then be asked to let Firefox “Remember Your Location.”

Make sure the “Remember for this site” box is checked, and that you click “Share Location.”

Your location will then show below the update box.

If you no longer want to tweet with your location on your Tweets, simply click the “x” next to your location. This turns off Tweet WIth Your Location on a per-Tweet basis, meaning your location will not be shown until you re-enable it by clicking the crosshair icon. If you wish to disable Tweet With Your Location entirely, please read the following.

Disabling Tweet With Your Location

If you have already enabled Tweet With Your Location, you can disable it the same way you enabled it – from your Account Settings. Making this change only alters your settings going forward. To remove your location data from all your prior Tweets, you’ll need to follow the steps below.

Removing location data

There are two options for removing location data:

  • Delete the tweet with the data.
  • Remove all location data from all of your tweets by clicking the “delete all location data” button on your settings page.

This can take up to 30 minutes, but it will scrub all location information from prior tweets. It is important to note, however, that this does not guarantee the information will be removed from all 3rd-party application’s copies of the data or external search results.

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