Twitter recently launched its Geolocation API, allowing users to attach their current location to their tweets. The acquisition of Mixer Labs will allow Twitter to bring experts in geolocational technology into the fold, allowing them to develop the feature further.
Mixer Labs staff will reportedly be working on the “contextual relevance of location to tweets” – in other words, not “What’s happening?” but “Where is it happening?”.
In a blog post today, Twitter founder Ev Williams notes:
“We will be looking at how to integrate the work Mixer Labs has done with the Twitter API in useful ways that give developers behind geo-enabled apps like Birdfeed,Seesmic Web, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twidroid, Twittelator Pro and other powerful new possibilities. We look forward to building features together that will make Twitter even more interesting and relevant to your daily life, no matter where you are. Please join us in welcoming this fine new crew to Twitter Headquarters.”
Take-up of Twitter geolocation by users has hardly been huge to date. As we noted recently, hardly any tweets are currently geotagged. It seems users either don’t know about, or don’t care for, the feature.
It will be interesting to see how this talent grab affects the development of geolocation in Twitter – and whether it will lead to users actually becoming happy about sharing their location.