Twitter's capabilities make local search features possible

Twitter's infrastructure is ripe with opportunity to become a major player in local search. In order to compete with applications such as Google Places, however, it must create more chances to engage users on a local level.

TechCrunch reports Twitter could harness its technology to increase its local search capabilities.

In 2010, Twitter created its answer to Google Places - called Twitter Places - which was dropped in the site's redesign. However, the news source notes that it could work if Twitter distinguishes between personal accounts and business accounts, allowing place pages to link to corresponding business users.

In addition, enabling geo-targeted tweets from large stores with multiple locations can allow paying advertisers to send direct messages to followers in a specific location.

Plus, harnessing location-based applications such as foursquare and Instagram could provide Twitter with the opportunity to organize events in certain neighborhoods or venues, or promote trending places where large amounts of people check in at once.

According to Search Engine Watch, Twitter has been used to display real-time tweets from certain events. For example, at the Minnesota Twins' Target Field, the team designates a staff members to stream interesting tweets on a "Twitter Board" during the game.