Twitter: Reportedly expanding its location services.

Twitter: Reportedly expanding its location services. Photo: Bloomberg

Twitter is reportedly testing a timeline that shows tweets that were sent from a nearby location.

The short messaging service may be experimenting with the feature, dubbed "Nearby", as a way to get more Twitter users to share their geo-location database.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Nearby timeline has appeared on various users' Twitter smartphone apps in recent days. The test feature has only shown up for users who have previously given Twitter permission to see and display their location.

With the feature, users see a map on the top half of the smartphone screen. That map shows icons for tweets that have been posted publicly nearby. Tapping on an icon will show the tweet in the bottom of users' screens.

The Journal speculates that knowing users' location would benefit Twitter by giving it more data that advertisers could use to target their marketing campaigns.

For users, the feature could be useful when it comes to seeing what's happening around them. For example, if users see a protest happening, they could check the Nearby timeline to see what the protesters are tweeting – giving them immediate information about the protest.

Twitter has not commented on the Nearby feature, but like other tech companies, it frequently tests new features on small pockets of users before expanding to all users.

To share your location with Twitter using an iPhone, go to the Settings app followed by "Privacy", "Location Services" and turn the toggle next to Twitter on. Android users can top the three dot icon at the top left of the Twitter app followed by "Settings". There, users simply check the box next to the "Location" option.

Los Angeles Times