Twitter and Foursquare team up for location tagging

Steven Loeb · March 23, 2015 · Short URL:

Twitter users can mark their specific location in-tweet, including businesses and landmarks

(Come mingle with hundreds of top venture capitalists representing $10B-plus in capital under management, including Khosla Ventures, Greylock and Javelin Venture Partners, and learn from founders/CEOs including Marco Zappacosta, Co-founder & CEO of Thumbtack and Adam Goldenberg, CEO of JustFab, Slava Rubin, Founder & CEO of Indiegogo, at Vator Splash Oakland on April 22nd and 23rd. Get your tickets here!)

One of my favorite Facebook features introduced over the last fewyears has been the ability to check-in at places I have visited. I like showing off all the place I have been to, and getting ideas of places to go from friends. For example, I have a friend who lives in Houston and I found a really cool place to try when I visited there last summer. It's actually a really useful feature to me.

Twitter, on the other hand, does not have the same hyper-local type of tagging. Sure, you can say what city you are in, but nothing more specific than that. I'm not sure why that is, but the company has kind of been behind the ball on this.

Now, though, the company is getting in on the action as well, through a partnership with Foursquare, which will allow users to Tweet with their exact location, including restaurants, landmarks and shops. The announcement was revealed via a Tweet on Monday. It even comes with a short video showing how it will work.

Twitter gave more information about the partnership on it support website, in which it says that locations can be added your Tweets using Twitter on any platform, including Android, iOS, and other mobile applications.

Tweeting with location is disabled by default so it has to be turned on manually (good on Twitter for doing that, because imagine the Twitter outrage if people had started tweeting their location without their consent?).

For the the Web, users just have t click Add Location, next to the location marker, in the compose box. For iOS or Android location services have to enabled on the device, and then they just have to tap the location marker in the Tweet compose box to open a list of places that they can choose from. 

To turn it off, users just do the same thing, but hit disable instead.

While this will obviously be a cool feature for users who like to show off all the places they visit, it will no doubt have any added benefit for Twitter, which counts on geolocation for ad targeting. Now it will know exactly where you are, and be able to show even more specific and targeted ads based on where the user has checked in.

This is also a good thing for the future of Foursquare, a company that has not been having a great last few years, having split into two entirely different apps in 2014: the new Foursquare, launched late last year, which focuses on exploration and discovery, while its new app Swarm, is focused on social interactions, such as finding friends nearby.

The split was controversial, and by most accounts hurt Foursquare, but by selling its data to Twitter it proves that it still has a lot to offer, and has a significant way to make money, even if its user numbers are down.

This new feature will only be available in "select locations" for the time being. 

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.