Twitter tests ‘Nearby’ timeline feature

Twitter is testing a new feature that will allow users to see who is tweeting nearby, even if they don’t follow them.

The timeline feature for its mobile-app has been called ‘Nearby’ according to the Wall Street Journal, and over the past couple of days has appeared occasionally on the phones of users who allow Twitter to see and use their location.

The ‘Nearby’ screen (pictured) appears as a map showing a blue dot over the user’s current location. Below that is a timeline of recent nearby tweets, with icons on the map noting the location.

The feature would encourage users to switch on the Twitter location services, currently turned off by default, to receive more location-relevant tweets. However, analysts have also predicted that this move would allow advertisers more precise targeting capabilities.

Twitter has declined to comment on the new service, but said it experiments frequently with ways to improve user experience.

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