Just a few months after revamping its Direct Messages, Twitter added a new feature to the offering, designed to further enhance how companies provide customer service on the platform. The location request feature enables businesses to ask customers they're conversing with to share their location via direct message. That way, the business can provide more targeted, localized service.
If the customer agrees to share his location, a drop-down menu of places to choose from appears. Alternatively, customers can also share their precise location using their phone's GPS. To curb privacy concerns, however, the service is entirely optional—customers don't have to provide location information to receive customer service.
TGI Fridays is one of the first companies to test the location feature. The company is using it to help customers find their nearest locations as well as for to-go orders, said Sherif Mityas, vice president for strategy and brand initiatives at TGI Fridays, in a statement:
"Twitter's innovative tools enable us to create a digital experience that seamlessly allows people to engage with TGI Fridays while on-the-go. 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 fried chicken restaurant chain, is also using the location tool to help customers find nearby locations.
This is the latest in a series of customer service updates from Twitter. In February, the company updated its direct messaging with Custom Profiles, enabling brands to differentiate automated responses from human responses during interactions with customers.
As for the location capabilities, this is only the beginning, according to Twitter product manager Ian Cairns. “Now that businesses can easily incorporate location sharing into their customer experiences, expect to see other innovative location-aware use cases in Direct Messages,” he wrote in a blog post. For example, the location feature may be particularly useful for identifying localized outages or for providing region-specific support.
Currently in private beta, the feature is available through Twitter's Direct Messages API and is powered by Foursquare's location data.