A new Twitter network could be about to change the face of local news gathering.
Twitzip is designed to share ‘hyperlocal’ news based on users’ zip codes. American creators Nathan Heinrich and Aaron Donsbach created accounts for nearly all of the zip codes in the US back in 2008 with the idea of building a network that would harness the knowledge of local residents and allow them to share news by tweeting from an account for their area.
As we analyzed Twitter’s potential, we realized the one location-based handle that everyone knows is their zip or postal code. We thought it would be a waste if Twitter zip code handles or ‘TwitZips’ were owned by tens of thousands of different people with tens of thousands of different uses. Furthermore, we thought TwitZips might be valuable for networking local citizens together. This was the start of TwitZip.
According to a statement on the network’s website, the service is currently focused on hyperlocal news, blogs, and crime, but will soon integrate weather and government alerts.
If successful, TwitZip could prove a happy hunting ground for local journalists tracking breaking news.