Okay everyone, let’s calm down. Currently making the rounds on the Internet is that Twitter is about to launch a Foursquare-killer, Twitter Places. The only problem? They actually launched it about five months ago. They wrote about it, we covered it, so did just about everyone else on the web. That said, there is one potentially new element of Places that we haven’t noticed before: the ability to claim a place.
We’re not entirely sure how new this is, and have reached out to Twitter about it (update below). But what’s interesting is that it appears that Twitter’s headquarters is the only venue that has been claimed so far (by @twitter, naturally). And looking over the site, I can’t find a way to claim any other venue. Here’s the TechCrunch headquarters, for example, unclaimed.
Since the launch of Places five months ago, Twitter hasn’t done much in the geolocation space. Meanwhile, rivals Facebook and Google have been moving fast to build up and own their own Place databases. Being able to claim a place on Twitter would seem to suggest that the company is thinking about adding to their offering. Google, Facebook, and Foursquare all allow venue-owners to claim their places. And those that do get (or will get) analytics about their venues on those services.
A more robust Twitter Places offering could also be another potential revenue-generator for Twitter. Again, location-based analytics are the obvious play here.
Update: Here’s what Twitter has to say:
Claiming Twitter Places is not available at this time. We’re experimenting with a variety features. Allowing businesses to claim a Place is a natural thing to consider for the future.