Posted November 20, 2009 8:47 am by with 5 comments

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Quick, you’re lost somewhere in France, it’s cold, dark, and all you have is your smartphone, a signal flair, CB radio, map, flashlight, French/English dictionary, and some french fries.

What do you do?

OK, first, eat the french fries–you look hungry.

Then throw all that other stuff in a trash can, because all you need is your phone and Twitter!

Two new Twitter services are rolling out, both will help you–should you ever find yourself in this scenario.

First, Twitter has added a French version of the web site. The fact that the Twitter team will be in Paris for Le Web is purely coincidental! 😉

Second, Twitter is rolling out a new API that will bring location awareness to the popular microblogging service:

We’re going to release geolocation to platform developers before we add the feature to Most of the mobile applications people use and love are built by Twitter platform developers. Developers will have access to this new geolocation feature early which means it will most likely be available on your app of choice before it’s available on Twitter’s web site…It’s easy to imagine how this might be interesting at an event like a concert or even something more dramatic like an earthquake.

Now, before some of you rush off to WordPress and crank out that scathing post about privacy invasion–you know, the one that will get retweeted like crazy and a ton of comments (you know who you are)–Twitter is one step ahead of you. Geolocation in your tweets will be an opt-in setting:

Folks will need to activate this new feature by choice because it will be off by default and the exact location data won’t be stored for an extended period of time.

It will be interesting to see what new apps and features will come from this. Dear developers, please create something a little more practical than FourSquare. How about an app that can translate my panic-stricken tweets into French, then tell the local authorities which bush exactly I’m cowering under. 😉