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Twitter Opens Direct Message Location Sharing For Brick-And-Mortars To Customers

'This is yet another feature we’re providing for businesses to create great human- and bot-powered customer experiences on Twitter,' says Sherif Mityas, VP for Strategy and Brand Initiatives.

Local businesses on Twitter can now use the Direct Message feature to draw in customers with location data telling them where the closest store is.

Among the first marketers to try the “share and request” location information for Twitter DMs is TGI Fridays, which is also among a group of brands testing Foursquare Analytics for insights on foot-traffic. In addition to that, the Twitter DM program builds on an existing alliance with bot marketing platform Conversable.

“Twitter’s innovative tools enable us to create a digital experience that seamlessly allows people to engage with TGI Fridays while on-the-go,” said Sherif Mityas, VP for Strategy and Brand Initiatives. “With the new location sharing feature, coupled with our Conversable partnership, we are able to simplify the process of finding a nearby Fridays, book a reservation or place an order to go.”

Wingstop, a chicken-focused quick serve restaurant with 750 global location, is also testing Twitter’s DM feature, which the microblog company is positioning as a complement to its Quick Replies, Welcome Messages, and Customer Feedback Cards for local businesses.

It’s also hard to miss that Twitter’s Request and Share Location program comes a week after Facebook introduced its Live Location tool in its Messenger app. While Facebook Messenger’s Live Location is primarily focused on friend-to-friend conversations, it’s likely that the local businesses that the social network serves will ultimately be able to take advantage of that capability as well.

Careful to ensure that Twitter users aren’t put off by the new feature, which is currently in private beta, businesses must first ask a person to share a location. They can then choose to ignore the request, share a precise location, or pick a place name from a list — regardless of whether or not they are physically there, writes Ian Cairns, group product manager at Twitter in a blog post.

The location feature itself was developed with help from street diagram design subscription service Mapbox.

“Helping people find a location nearby makes perfect sense for brick-and-mortar businesses,” Cairns says. “Now that businesses can easily incorporate location sharing into their customer experiences, expect to see other innovative location-aware use cases in Direct Messages.”