Twitter

Twitter toying with 'Nearby,' a new feature that shares location of tweets

Dec. 16, 2013 at 6:20 PM ET

Twitter is reportedly testing out a new feature called "Nearby."
Twitter
Twitter is reportedly testing out a new feature called "Nearby."

Beware whom you tweet about. If you're standing right next to them, they might be able to see it, thanks to a new experimental feature that shows users tweets that have been sent from a nearby location.

It's called, appropriately enough, "Nearby" — and it's showing up as a new timeline for various users who have allowed the mobile app to see their location, according to the Wall Street Journal. Companies like Twitter regularly test out new features without necessarily adopting them for all users. 

Twitter is also reportedly working on a new "edit" feature that would let users make changes to tweets after they have been published, sources "close to the project" told The Desk. Users would have a limited time to make a few small edits, like fixing a typo or adding a couple of words, and would be limited to one editing session per tweet.

Unlike the "Nearby" feature, however, editing capabilities haven't been made available for public testing. 

NBC News reached out to Twitter for comment but got no response. 

Not that geolocation features are new to Twitter. The service has allowed users to tag their tweets with their location since 2010, the same year that Facebook unveiled a geolocation product called "Places." (While that feature is dead, Facebook users can still tag the location of their photos). 

Both were seen as responses to the emergence of Foursquare, the "check-in" app that took off after debuting at the South by Southwest interactive conference in 2009.

"Nearby" will show users a map with icons appearing where people are sending out messages, reported the Wall Street Journal, with tweets popping to the forefront when clicked. 

While you can't sign up for the feature directly, you can give Twitter permission to know your location by changing the "Privacy" options in the mobile app's "Settings" tab. 

Keith Wagstaff writes about technology for NBC News. He previously covered technology for TIME's Techland and wrote about politics as a staff writer at TheWeek.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @kwagstaff and reach him by email at: Keith.Wagstaff@nbcuni.com

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