The importance of location on the web

Digital

It seems we’ve all become accustomed to the new age ‘World Wide Web’. Most of us have Facebook profiles, we know what Twitter is, and if we haven’t embraced social networking, we certainly have an opinion of it. You’re either a keen supporter of these groundbreaking developments, or you can’t see the point.

If you’re of the latter opinion, let me assure you that even if you ‘can’t see the point’, and don’t wish to indulge in a portion of Web 2.0, you will most certainly have been affected by it.

Twitter changed the game

Prior to Twitter, the concept of finding information in real-time on the web was little more than a fantasy. Now, more and more people are finding out news moments after an incident takes place, as we – people from all over the globe - are interacting with each other and sharing our own personal experiences, as they happen.

The fact is, everyone has something to say and we all want our opinions and perspectives heard. Twitter, in particular, has given us a platform to communicate with others – wherever they are in the country, continent or world.

Even Google had to take notice of Twitter

The real-time nature has also forced web heavyweights such as Microsoft and Google to re-evaluate how they carry out their business. Google created Caffeine, and is now including tweets and status updates within its search results and Microsoft Bing has also ventured down the very same avenue. But, the web never stands still for long, and the next major advancement is always just around the corner.

Geo-location is the next major advancement

Both Twitter and Facebook have recently included a geo-location tool within their services, and this looks set to be the next game-changer. Google has already tried to integrate the idea of location into its product, ‘Google Buzz’, but the service has failed to make a substantial impact. With Twitter and Facebook already established, their location tools will certainly not suffer the same fate.

Check out Foursquare for a great example of social media and geo-location

Foursquare is a company that has it’s foundations in geo-location and social media. The software, which can be used on your mobile device, gives individuals the chance to share their experiences of a particular location, shop or tourist attraction. As an example, Lee, our Creative Director, has a favourite cake shop in the Chinese district of Birmingham. If he wanted to, he could log into Foursquare when he’s next there, and let his network know about the fantastic new cake they’ve just introduced to their range. This adds a physical element to social media, and allows interaction between people within specific networks. With over 3 million users, Foursquare has made social media a whole-lot more useful.

Foursquare

This is obviously just one application of geo-location within social media, and the effect Twitter and Facebook geo-tools have on the web, remains to be seen.

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