Find the tweeter next door

If you're looking to find some local tweeters, there are Web tools and iPhone apps that will help you do it.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
4 min read

Although Twitter is a tool that helps you connect with others around the world, what if you want to find some "tweeps" that live in your area? It's easier than you might think.

Twitter itself provides location information on profile pages, but that's not enough to help you find some locals. You're not going to sift through every profile to look at the person's location, after all.

That's why you need to check out the following sites and iPhone apps that will help you find folks who live nearby.

Find some locals

Happn.in Instead of simply finding tweeters close to you, Happn.in has you choose your area and see what the "trending" topics are there. So, if nearby users are discussing taxes or a local baseball team, they will be displayed as some of the more popular topics where you live. Under each topic is a listing of the latest tweets from people discussing those items. It's a neat idea, but beware that many towns are not included in the Happn.in listing, so it's a better service for people living in big cities.

Happn.in lists trending topics in your area to find others to follow. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Localtweeps Localtweeps asks you to input your ZIP code to add yourself to the service. When you input your ZIP code, it populates (but does not update) your Twitter stream with a tweet that includes your location. Your profile is then added to the Localtweeps directory, allowing people to find you based on where you live.

Because of the way Localtweeps adds users to its directory, you'll find that there aren't as many users as those in other services in this roundup. That said, it tends to be more accurate, since the people who join want to be located. So, although it sacrifices quantity, Localtweeps actually does provide some real quality. It's worth trying out.

Localtweeps doesn't have too many users, but it makes up for it in quality. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Nearby Tweets Nearby Tweets asks you to input your location. It also asks that you choose a search radius to find other local Twitter users. The app uses both the Twitter API and the Google Maps API to ensure it's finding people in the desired area.

Nearby Tweets allows you to input keywords to enhance your search. When you do so, it analyzes all the people in the area first and then finds if any of them are mentioning the term you're searching for. It adds another level to the offering. And it makes it slightly more compelling than some of the other services in this roundup.

Nearby Twitter
Nearby Twitter finds all the folks in your area. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Tweetmondo Tweetmondo helps you find people in your area by inputting your location. From there, it finds others who signed up for the service and input the same location.

Although that function works well, I was upset to see that Tweetmondo automatically updated my Twitter stream with a message telling my followers that I signed up for the site (I deleted it from my stream in seconds after it was updated). I don't mind it giving me the option of updating my stream with that information, but I don't want it updated for me.

With that in mind, Tweetmondo did do a good job of finding people in a given location, but it should be noted that you won't find nearly as many people on this site as on others I tested. And since Tweetmondo automatically updates your stream, consider it a last resort.

Tweetmondo displays your image on a map and a listing of other users. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Twellowhood Twellowhood displays a map of the U.S. You can click on the state you live in and it will automatically list all the people living in different towns in the respective state.

I was really impressed by Twellowhood's listings. The site listed several people in both small towns and big cities across New York state. The same was true for all the states I checked. When you click the town you want, Twellowhood lists the users by the number of followers they have. You can go to their Twitter profile or follow them from the page.

Twellowhood lists people in many small towns across the U.S. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Twinkle Twinkle is an iPhone app that allows you to tweet with nearby Twinkle users. The app uses the iPhone's GPS functionality to locate you and those in your area.

Twinkle is, theoretically, a self-contained social network allowing you to send messages to nearby users, but you can also update your Twitter and Facebook statuses in a flash, allowing you to tweet with others that are nearby. It's a full-featured app that you don't want to miss.

Twinkle is a social networking app that also lets you find nearby Twitter users. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Twittelator Pro Twittelator Pro provides you with a variety of location-based features to help you find local tweeps. The app lets you post your location on a map for others to see. It also uses the iPhone's GPS to find the location of Twitter users in your area. You can then send them tweets from the app. Twittelator Pro is extremely capable, but there's one catch: it will cost you $4.99 to get it.

Twittelator Pro
Twittelator Pro uses the iPhone's GPS functionality to help you find nearby friends. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

TwitterLocal When you start using TwitterLocal, you'll find that it provides a single search box, asking you to input a location. TwitterLocal also asks you to choose the mile radius to search for people in the area. It then delivers the latest tweets written by those around a specific location. It's not the best app in this roundup, but it did do a fine job of finding people close to home.

TwitterLocal finds people in your area with an Adobe AIR app. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. Twellowhood: With a great interface, Twellowhood is worth trying out.

2. TwitterLocal: TwitterLocal gives you enough options to make it a useful service.

3. Twittelator Pro: Twittelator Pro is the most feature-packed iPhone app in this roundup. It's the tool to use, if you can get over its hefty price tag.