tCheckIn Twitterformat proposal


/at nameOfPlace


The tCheckIn Twitterformat (e.g., /at Waterstone's Costa) is used to inform your followers where you are currently in the real world. The preceding example has the user checking in at the Costa cafe in the Waterstone's book store. Combined with geocoded tweets, this Twitterformat adds to Twitter the type of functionality found in apps like Gowalla and Foursquare. It can also be used by services like Gowalla and Foursquare to format the tweets sent from their apps.

Raison d'être

Checking in is the new Twitter. Or something like that. For some reason, we're not content with simply having people stalk us online but feel compelled to tell them exactly where we are in the real world too. The tCheckIn Twitterformat makes it possible to do that using Twitter too.

Also, it's nice to add semantics to latitude/longitude pairs.

Manual usage

The tCheckIn Twitterformat is simple enough to be used manually by users. e.g.,

Having a caramel latte /at Waterstone's Costa

Implementation guide for Twitter client authors

A. Authoring

No special implementation for authoring is necessary (see Manual Usage, above). However here are a few optional suggestions:

  1. (Optional) Keep a list of common places that the user checks in at and make this available to her when authoring a tweet.
  2. (Optional) Allow the user to associate a picture with a place and tweet that along automatically when tweeting a tCheckIn update.
  3. (Optional) Keep a list of the users checkins and display them on a map for her. Perhaps route her day. For extra credit, make it possible for the user to share this map/route animation.

B. Presenting

When a geocoded tweet containing a tCheckIn tag is received:

  1. Display the user's location and the name of the place on a map
  2. (Optional) Make the place selectable so that the user can get more information about it (e.g., a link to a Google Maps search)
  3. (Optional) Store the name and location of the place and let the user see where all their friends are at any given time in a map view.


This Twitterformat Proposal is released under a Creative Commons Attribution License.