Twitter (News - Alert) has expanded its capabilities yet again with the acquisition of Spindle, a start-up concerned primarily with location, check-in and local discovery. With this acquisition, Spindle will be no more, but the company's entire team will apparently be put to work at Twitter, most likely on some sort of local discovery and check-in feature for the micro-blogging site.
So far, 2013 has been a significant year for Twitter in terms of services expansion as the company introduced its Vine short-video sharing app in January that has taken off to finally fill the role of the "Instagram of video."
A post on Spindle's official blog doesn't offer much in the way of details, but it does confirm that Spindle's service is being shut down.
"The Spindle team will be relocating and joining the Twitter team in San Francisco," reads the post. "As part of this change, we’ll be sunsetting the Spindle service today to focus on these new and exciting opportunities."
Spindle was created by a group of former Microsoft (News - Alert) search engineers and was pitched as a "tacit" mobile search application. Indeed, the service would search through data streamed through social networks such as Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter almost constantly to produce local points of interest. This would allow for a finer discovery experience compared to services like Foursquare (News - Alert).
While the most obvious assumption is that Twitter will put the Spindle staff to work on implementing this exact sort of functionality within Twitter, Mike Isaac of All Things D says not to expect an "apples-to-apples, Spindle-to-Twitter implementation." Indeed, Twitter has been working on more general location features in the past few months and it seems likely the Spindle team will be very useful for these ends.
Still, it's entirely possible for location discovery to grow as time goes on and to play a more prominent role in how Twitter functions.