Twitter announced yesterday, 12/23/09, that it has purchased Mixer Labs, the developers of GeoAPI and Townme. This is a huge step, showing the big boys are getting serious about location. As real estate professionals, we better stay sharply attuned to the development of the geo-location field, as our entire beings are based on location, location, location.
2009 has seen the rise of several location based start-ups, Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite are a just a few of the exciting apps out there. Yet, until now, the bigger players have held back. Google has Latitude, which has flown under the radar (probably because it is an “always on” or “off” model vs. a “check-in” model – too much “Big Brother is watching” for most of us), Twitter only started geo-tagging Tweets late this year and Facebook isn’t even in the game.
Twitter’s purchase of Mixer Labs (heavily soaked in ex-Google employees), is the start of the Geo on Steroids. While location enabled apps and APIs were a fun novelty in 2009, they are going to become standard protocol in 2010 and beyond. The whole world of computing is shifting. According to Google’s Vic Gundotra “We’re at the beginning of the beginning” of a new era of computing. Smart phones and mobile apps, cloud stored data, wi-fi and location are all shifting how we do business.
For real estate professionals, the developing geo-based apps allow us to be closer and better connected to our community. We are able to gently and consistently make our presence and expertise known in our area without having to shout it. Implementing geo-tagged information into our blogs will help provide a rich robust local information source for our readers. We will be there, we will be a part of the conversation.
Santa came early for me!