An Insight on Followers Geography

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Hello everyone. Very busy week here and more good news! I have been asked about the future of by many friends from Twitter and e-mail and IM, so I thought I’d share my thoughts here in public. is going quite good although there are a couple of bugs and issues that haven’t been solved yet, but we’re working on it very hard. The future? Well, that’s actually unpredictable, really. I’ll explain. We work out the areas that you (the end-users) want us to, and that is why your feedback is very important and it basically defines what we will be doing next. Yes, there are loads of comments and suggestions from inside the developers team, but we’re really looking forward to making a Twitter service that you people would use, and that’s our main goal.

Now today I’d like to give you a tiny little insight on what’s coming up next on We call it Followers Geography. Ever wondered where your followers are from? Or perhaps you wonder where your followers’ followers are from? Yes, there’s a location field in Twitter profiles which most people fill out quite good. Combining Google Geocoding and Google Maps, we’ve managed to scan through your followers’ locations and point them out on a map. Oh, and it also shows the current profile’s location (we totally forgot about that at first, hehe).


There are a few restrictions here, and the main one is definitely Google Maps API. Google allows around 15,000 API queries every day (while Twitter provides us with 20,000 every hour!) AND restrict their bulkness – there should be a 200-300 ms interval between each API call. So, generally you would have to wait for around 5 minutes to digest a profile with a thousand followers, and that’s where we came up with our great caching mechanism. The API calls are not made from within your browser. They run on a time-based (cron) job from our server to geocode new locations. Yes, it still takes a while to digest everyone, but you don’t get to see the delay and that’s the bright part of it!

The second restriction is your followers count. Your browser can’t handle 1,000,000 markers on a Google Map and that’s why we’re down to a maximum number of 500 followers (thus, locations) which works fast and doesn’t overload the browser with javascript. We’re working on a pagination system so don’t worry, you’ll get to see the rest in no time ;)

The public beta of Followers Geography is planned to be released by the end of next week. It’s going to be a new section below the three tag clouds and will be a small part of the huge “Followers” section in the future. If anybody would like to take a look at the living version post your requests into the comments, and I’ll provide you with an address, username and password by e-mail in exchange for good feedback ;)

That’s it for now. So how d’u guys like the idea? Anything else you’d like to see on that map?

About the author

Konstantin Kovshenin

WordPress Core Contributor, ex-Automattician, public speaker and consultant, enjoying life in Moscow. I blog about tech, WordPress and DevOps.


  • Hey Kov that does look great, sounds a lot of major hard work thou, is it something that everyone wants or is your time best invested elsewhere if Google Maps aren't playing?

    Also – can you show me of all the coffee house locations mmmmm yum! :D

    • Hey Christine, thanks. I'm not sure, but I got some cool feedback on the maps feature, so I guess it's something people would like to see:

      > danlev: @kovshenin That's really strange. I was just wondering if there was a map-your-followers app less than 15 min ago! Awesome! Can't wait!

      See? Anyway, there are other plans too ;)

      Here's your coffee Christine:

  • You've got a lot of good things going with this IP, Konstantin. I look forward to seeing how far you take the project and what else is on the horizon for you. Congratulations and best wishes.

  • I said it in the review, but it's worth repeating. The Followers Geography is going to be an awesome feature. I just tweeted, "I've gotta start following more West Coast peeps. My timeline goes dead at 5:00 pm EST." Then I remembered Followers Geography. I hope you don't mind, but I logged into the development version of, looked up my own profile, and took a peek at my followers out on the West Coast. I grabbed the names of a few of the tweeps that I knew posted interesting articles, then input THEIR Twitter names into to see who they're interacting with frequently. It stands to reason that a West Coaster would continue to have conversations beyond 5:00 pm EST. Yet another productive use of the app. Well done, Konstantin. I'm really digging this IP.