Over the weekend, it was reported that a new feature was discovered on Twitter HQ’s place page that indicates the company is testing the ability to allow users (and most likely businesses) to “claim” places and locations on Twitter.
The new feature, first spotted by members of the Hacker News community, looks to provide a permanent URL for specific locations, along with a list of people who have recently tweeted from that location and their tweets. Looking at the place page for Twitter HQ, there’s a message that states the location has been “claimed by @twitter.”
The added functionality signals increased interest by Twitter in getting deeper into the geolocation space. Could the company have plans to compete directly with the likes of Facebook and Foursquare? Though nothing has been confirmed, I have no doubt this is the direction Twitter wants to be heading in. In response to inquires regarding the new discovery, Twitter told Mashable “Claiming Twitter Places is not available at this time. We’re experimenting with a variety of features. Allowing businesses to claim a Place is a natural thing to consider for the future.”
Whatever the company has planned, they’re obviously taking things slow to ensure whatever is released to the masses will leverage the opportunities effectively. I see Twitter leveraging APIs much like Facebook has done with its “places” solution and becoming a facilitator of sorts in the geolocation space, rather than introducing something completely new. Only time will tell what’s brewing at the newly claimed Twitter HQ.