Trends began as a useful way to find out what’s going on but as Twitter has grown its become less interesting due to the noisiness of the conversation, and the general bias towards areas with highly active Twitter users.
Today however Twitter has begun rolling out a new feature that makes it possible to spot trends on Twitter within a specific location.
Whereas before you were only able to see generalised trends from across the twittersphere, this new feature now makes it possible to track popular discussion topics, opinion and breaking news in a specific location thanks to Twitter’s recently launched tweet geolocation API.
The feature does not seem to be available to everyone just yet, so we can only assume its being rolled out in phases.
Currently, Twitter’s geolocation feature has not seen a great deal of uptake with only 0.23% of tweets with Geo-Location enabled. In a timely post earlier this month, our own Martin Bryant rightly highlights two reasons for this:
“Firstly, most Twitter clients are yet to support geotagging and even if you’re using one that does, it’s not easy activate. Let’s say you’re using Tweetie 2, Tweetdeck for iPhone, Twidroid or another geo-enabled app. Even if you switch geotagging on in the app, it also needs to be switched on in your account settings at Twitter’s website. Most of the time this isn’t explained to users by the app. As a result many users may not be geotagging tweets even if they think they are.
Secondly, many people see giving their current location away as a compromise of their own privacy. While some early adopters may be keen to share everything (even down to their credit card purchases) online, the average user is a long way from ready to live their online life fully in public.”