HERE Maps Tests Turn-By-Turn Directions On Twitter
With so many location apps competing for so few space on consumers' smartphones, perhaps it makes sense to rely on one with over 300 million active users.
App overload is a perennial problem, but digital map platform HERE is exploring ways of getting around that by collaborating with Twitter.
HERE has began a pilot test of its route planning capabilities with Twitter in Australia last week. Users looking for the best destination between “Point A” — such as their home or office — to “Point B” — perhaps an ATM, a restaurant, gas station, or particular point of interest — can simply ask HERE on its official Twitter account for directions and how long it will take to get there.
Users do need to ensure that their location services are on so their tweets can be geo-tagged.
“The answers, which are enriched with a link to start navigation and an image of the route overview, are a great demonstration of creating interactive, responsive services on Twitter,” writes Jere Suikkila, HERE’s social media manager, in a blog post on Twitter. “To take advantage of our new offering, start your tweet with ‘@HERE,’ ask for ‘ETA to destination” or ‘restaurants near me’ and add ‘#AskHERE’ at the end of your tweet. Please make sure to have the ‘share precise location on.'”
The responses are automated based on a system built by Australian software company Proxima, which connects tweets by their geo-tagged location to HERE APIs to ask for a route or a place suggestion.
Iris, Proxima’s natural language processing engine, reads the tweet to understand what a person is asking. It then “asks” the HERE Routing API or Places API in a way that’s similar to how HERE WeGo delivers navigation services, Suikkila says.
Keep Moving Ahead
The test comes a few months after HERE unveiled its rebranded that was designed to showcase new functions and design features to meet mobile consumers’ ceaseless desire for immediacy amid the rise of on-demand services like Uber and Postmates.
That project came several months after the a number of major changes at HERE since it was acquired for $3 billion by a trio of German carmakers (Audi, BMW, Daimler). It’s all part of a larger effort to differentiate itself. As such, the former Nokia property has been sharpening its focus on offline mapping and expanded services — something that has attracted consideration from additional possible investors.
Now with the app regularly being updated, HERE believes it can concentrate on additional ways to build its audience, whether or not they download an app or not. As all of HERE’s recent efforts have shown, the goal is to be known for completing a task that involves location information on any device or channel.