Twitter has acquired the startup behind a location service called GeoAPI as geolocation becomes a bigger part of the company’s strategy going forward.
Twitter CEO Evan Williams announced the deal in a blog post, but did not specify terms. It is likely a very small deal focused on acq-hiring the ex-Googlers who created GeoAPI and some of the technology itself.
The GeoAPI team — known as Mixer Labs — includes:
- Elad Gil, cofounder and CEO, former cofounder of Google’s mobile team, worked on Android acquisition.
- Othman Laraki, cofounder and President, former Googler who worked on toolbar, Gears, early Firefox extensions.
- Tom Wuttke, ex-Googler, also designed the original game engine for “You Don’t Know Jack.” (Cool!).
- George Lee, iPhone and Twitter whiz, worked on iGoogle analytics and algorithms at Google.
- And more!
Here’s how Twitter CEO Evan Williams describes the deal:
The Mixer Labs crew has been working on harnessing the power of local information for a couple years and just recently launched GeoAPI, a comprehensive service for helping developers build geolocation-aware applications. As of today, they’re part of Twitter and will be working to combine the contextual relevance of location to tweets. We want to know What’s happening?, and more precisely, Where is it happening? As a dramatic example, twittering “Earthquake!” alone is not as informative as “Earthquake!” coupled with your current location.
We will be looking at how to integrate the work Mixer Labs has done with the Twitter API in useful ways that give developers behind geo-enabled apps like Birdfeed, Seesmic Web, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twidroid, Twittelator Pro and other powerful new possibilities. We look forward to building features together that will make Twitter even more interesting and relevant to your daily life, no matter where you are. Please join us in welcoming this fine new crew to Twitter Headquarters—795 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA.
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