Twitter Wants You to See Who’s Tweeting Around You

Experimenting with "Nearby" map that gives users a glimpse of local tweets

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Soeren Stache / Associated Press

A smartphone display shows the Twitter logo.

Twitter is quietly exploring the use of geolocation with a new “Nearby” feature on its mobile app.

This week some users — who allow Twitter to access their location — have spotted the new feature that reveals nearby tweets regardless of whether you follow a user, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

“Nearby”  includes a map on the upper-half of the screen with a blue dot marking the user’s location, while the bottom half reveals a feed of recent local tweets, using icons marking their location on the map.

Twitter declined to comment on the recent testing but the new feature may help with local discovery in real-time, infringing on Foursquare’s domain.

The social media giant has enabled geolocation since 2010, but a user must manually switch on the setting to allow Twitter to access locations. The strategy could also prove to be a boon to advertisers, who could provide more accurately targeted ads.

[Wall Street Journal]