Over the past few weeks, Twitter has been running a number of public iOS tests with many users seeing slightly different versions of the app compared to others. Today, the WSJ reports that an interesting new feature is appearing for some users that shows tweets nearby their location on a map.

BN AU167 twitte DV 20131214124223 Twitter tests showing tweets near your location on iOS

The ‘nearby’ feature shows up as one of the new timelines accessed by swiping across from the default view, a feature which was added just a few days ago. It’s been possible to attach location to a tweet since 2010, but Twitter is yet to really take advantage of having that data by presenting it in a meaningful way.

By adding the ability for users to see events unfolding near them, it could help with local discovery of events or disasters in almost real time but ultimately the goal is to make other users’ tweets more relevant for the user. Such a feature could also could encroach on Foursquare’s territory by allowing users to quickly see hot locations nearby without having to open another app.

When Twitter was asked for comment it declined to comment but linked to its blog post about experiments, like always.

➤ Twitter Test Shows ‘Nearby’ Tweets [WSJ]