Is Twitter About to Let Businesses Claim Locations?
Twitter has allowed users to tweet their location via its Places feature for a while now, but now it looks like the company is taking Places a step further with a feature that lets businesses “claim” a location or place.
The feature, first spotted by the Hacker News community and tech pioneer Dave Winer, provides a permanent URL for specific locations, along with a list of people who have recently tweeted from that location and their tweets. The interesting part though is that at least one of these pages, Twitter HQ, has been “claimed” by @Twitter.
The “claiming” of Place pages could be a sign that Twitter is getting serious about competing in the geolocation space currently dominated by Facebook and Foursquare. It could give businesses a new avenue to promote themselves on Twitter, and it could lead to new revenue possibilities for the microblogging service.
Place pages are nothing new; Places launched in June and the updated Place pages were likely part of the launch of the New Twitter. However, the “claimed by” feature is something we have never seen before. We’ve only found one location that has been claimed so far, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that Twitter is testing the feature with a limited set of partners.
What does Twitter plan to do with its Place pages? Is Twitter planning to launch a deals feature of its own? We don’t know the answers to these questions yet, but we’ve contacted Twitter to find out.
Update: Here is Twitter’s response to our inquiry on claiming Places:
“Claiming Twitter Places is not available at this time. We’re experimenting with a variety features. Allowing businesses to claim a Place is a natural thing to consider for the future.”
It looks like this feature is indeed in testing, though not with businesses quite yet. We agree with Twitter though that being able to claim a Place is a logical avenue for the company to pursue.