Twitter Places Challenges Foursquare, Gowalla with Geolocation

Cyber stalkers of the world rejoice! No longer will you have to piece together the 140-character limited clues as to where people are, you can now wait for them to “check in” and lead you right to them. Such is the not-entirely-original concept of Twitter’s newest app, Places, a tool that will allow Twitter users to tweet about their location and attach their tweets to the place for  other people to see.

Social networking is a craze that has become a way of life, and creative entrepreneurs are always looking at ways to increase that social presence to keep the medium lively and entertaining. Two new companies in the social network include Foursquare and Gowalla, who have built their social networks on location placement- allowing users to “check in” to locations and see who else has been there and when. And now Twitter wants in on the action.

During his keynote speech at the Twitter Developers Conference (aka Chirp), Twitter CEO Evan Williams debuted the new app. Twitter Places is an app that others can click on the location to see what people are saying about that place. Part review, part stalker-friendly GPS locator, the app hopes to expand the social network experience by giving locations histories that are relevant to Twitter users.

Although Williams was sparse on the details, it seems likely that users who tweet their location will be able to apply that information to other social networking sites, as Twitter currently does with Facebook. Williams also commented that he was not looking to supplant startups like Foursquare or Gowalla, claiming the focus will be on the location, not the person.

And Twitter isn’t the only to look to expand into location networking. Apple recently requested a patent that – if followed through on – would create a social network with location links.

The Twitter empire continues to grow. The announcement of “Places” comes days after Twitter revealed that they would be sponsoring tweets based on consumer searches. The new ad revenue is expected to bring in up to $100 million a year .

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