On August 11, Weather.com added a new "Social" feature that allows Twitter users to share their tweets about their local weather on Weather.com and its mobile applications. The following is a short review of the new service.
Will it help in severe weather?
Twitter users have been following Twitter accounts from local news during severe weather for a couple of years now, using the tweets as a way to supplement newscasts and word-of-mouth weather reports. This will organize users for a real-time, word-of-mouth conversation about the weather. Like all discussions on Twitter, users will have to trust the experts over the over-reaction of some individuals. With that in mind, "Social" weather should help provide eye-witness accounts and extra details in real time, which could be very handy in a situation like the Alabama tornadoes.
Where can "Social" weather be followed?
Weather.com allows users to follow the weather tweets in several ways:
- Within their city/zip code only.
- "Nearby" their city.
- In one of 200 suggested metropolitan areas.
The "Social" feature can access tweets through Weather.com or through its mobile applications, so it's good at home or on the road.
Is this going to require special hashtags or going to the site every time every time
Surprisingly, this service is very extensive and quick. Seconds after tweeting this about "Fort Worth" and the "weather" on Twitter.com, the Weather.com "Social" service had updated including the tweet. Most likely, only the keywords listed about location and "weather" were required, without hashtags or visiting Weather.com. That means that even people who don't opt in to the discussion will still take part, which menas more people and information, which means more likelihood of accurate and thorough information.
This new service from Weather.com integrates Twitter and the weather in a very fast and seamless way, and it involves everyone one Twitter. If Weather.com could partner with Twitter to make accounts available within the service that aggregate all of the tweets from that area, then this service would be just about perfect. For now, "Social" weather is almost "just about perfect" and something that everyone who experiences weather should be using soon.
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