Twitter is quietly improving its Places location feature, by allowing developers to access an expanded database of locations for tweets associated with a specific place. The company has allowed users to include their location on tweets since this summer, and is now combining location data from a number of providers including Gowalla, OpenTable, TomTom, Zagat and Yellow Pages Group (Canada) into one database that developers can access for location information.
The expanded database will make it easier for developers to offer users more places to tag, the company said. With expanded developer support for the Twitter search API, it will enable developers to more easily display tweets associated with one place. In a letter sent to developers this morning, Twitter said the expanded database will help users find what’s new in their area.
This isn’t a blockbuster announcement by any means, but it shows that Twitter is continuing to look at location data as a way to enhance its service. As Mathew speculated, combining Twitter Places with its upcoming Annotations platform (which has been repeatedly delayed) could put Twitter on the road to being more of a local review service. Having more location information will certainly help as the company moves in that direction.
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