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Summary:

Twitter announced this afternoon it has acquired Mixer Labs, a San Mateo, Calif.-based startup that recently launched GeoAPI, a reverse look-up service to help application makers know where their users are. Basically, developers get a layer of geo-goodness so they don’t have to build it themselves.

Twitter announced this afternoon it has acquired Mixer Labs, a San Mateo, Calif.-based startup that recently launched GeoAPI, a reverse look-up service to help application makers get more information about where their users are. Basically, it offers developers a layer of geo so they don’t have to build it themselves.

As Twitter CEO Ev Williams explained in a blog post announcing the acquisition (but not its price tag):

As of today, they’re part of Twitter and will be working to combine the contextual relevance of location to tweets. We want to know What’s happening?, and more precisely, Where is it happening? As a dramatic example, twittering “Earthquake!” alone is not as informative as “Earthquake!” coupled with your current location.

Mixer Labs, which was founded by former Google product managers and started out making a local wiki product called TownMe, had not disclosed any outside funding. We captured a video interview with Mixer Labs CEO Elad Gil just a couple of weeks ago about his take on the most interesting opportunities for location-aware applications: in his terms, broadcast, context, geo-tagging and search. Here’s our profile of the seven-person company based on that interview.

It’s nice to see that Mixer Labs says it’s still handing out API keys; unlike many other web startup acquirers, Twitter seems to be keeping its new service open to the public as-is, at least for now. GeoAPI has built a database of 16 million businesses and points of interest, and offers 20,000 queries per day for free, 100,000 more for $3 a day, promising super-speedy response times (sub-50 milliseconds).

The Mixer Labs acquisition will complement Twitter’s already launched geo-tagging API, which it has made available to developers to allow their users to specify their current tweeting coordinates. The yet-to-launch startup SimpleGeo is a direct GeoAPI competitor, and Google is building such tools as well. When we talked to Gil, he said one way GeoAPI would stand out is that it would allow companies to make geo-layers flexible and editable, rather than purely informational.

  1. [...] for instance, it was through the site (verified elsewhere) I learned Mixer Labs, the geo startup recently acquired by Twitter, had been funded by Sequoia Capital. To the extreme, there’s also a page about [...]

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  2. [...] Gannes Jan. 8, 2010, 9:11am 1 Comment 0 0 0 8 Twitter didn’t disclose the terms of its acquisition of geo platform Mixer Labs in December, but some of the details have since emerged. Today [...]

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  3. [...] ability to query the world through various services.  TechCrunch   VentureBeat   Mashable   GigaOM   [...]

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  4. [...] with the ability to query the world through various services. TechCrunch VentureBeat Mashable GigaOM [...]

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  5. [...] is rudimentary and fragmented, but several startups are attempting to simplify it. GeoAPI, recently acquired by Twitter, is creating a digital library of exact locations (currently it has 16 million). This geo-database [...]

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  6. [...] If the acquhire binge continues, who might be some of Google’s next targets? Some other ex-Googler web startups include Ooyala, TellApart, Red Beacon, OpTrip, Cuil, imo.im, Chai Labs and Howcast. Other acquirers have also taken a liking to Google offspring; for instance Facebook bought FriendFeed and Twitter bought Mixer Labs. [...]

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  7. [...] rival Twitter in December bought Mixer Labs, a company that will support you to Geotag the tweets. The CEO of Twitter, Evan Williams, said at [...]

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  8. Elad is smart and cute!!! A local too!!!!!! I hope Twitter bring nothing but success.

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  9. [...] competitor Mixer Labs (aka GeoAPI) was bought by Twitter last year and its founders now lead Twitter’s location [...]

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