The location based mobile social network Brightkite, may be facing a bit of a backlash with Twitter users. While the service is nicely gaining ground with Twitter users, there are some that are more than irritated with one of Brightkite’s most popular features: sending location updates to Twitter.
Recently, prolific Twitter user and one of my mentors, Wayne Sutton, posed an interesting question about some user reactions to Brightkite:
While users responded that they don’t hate Brightkite, thoughts on the service ranged from privacy concerns to Brightkite not being a "real" mobile technology.
Privacy and Stalking
I whole heartedly agree with the responses. While Brightkite may be great for other reasons, tweeting your locations to your followers isn’t one of them. There are ways to mislead users and pretend to update from locations that you’re no where near. This is also a great tool for stalking people. However, to counter the latter, Brightkite does offer you the option of only allow "Trusted Friends" to see your exactly location update. Though even with this feature I’ve seen numerous tweets from both Wayne and others with their exact whereabouts.
In addition, it’s all just more noise because location tweets really don’t serve a purpose on Twitter unless you’re at a conference. You don’t need an exact address for that. Just tell whomever you’re meeting up with where you are. Better yet, text or call them and keep it private. If I can’t meet you based on where you are, why would I care to know that type of information?
Not So Bright Idea?
This have have seemed like a good idea when Brightkite first premiered, however users of the service might want to take a second look at the feature that tweets locations. It could pose some really dangerous privacy concerns and its better than Facebook for stalking people. Apparently it’s not about the url tweets Wayne, there are way more important issues behind the irritation.