After Twitter’s IPO, CEO Dick Costolo stopped geotagging his tweets

Reason to smile.
Reason to smile.
Image: AP/Richard Drew
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has gone off the grid, in a sense, after taking his company public. His last 19 tweets haven’t included the location from which they were sent, a departure from his usual practice.

Before Twitter’s IPO, Quartz pointed out that Costolo’s habit of geotagging his tweets might make him the first CEO of a publicly traded company whose movements could easily be tracked in real time. We showed how the metadata attached to Costolo’s tweets revealed detailed information about his whereabouts, down to precise latitudes and longitudes.

But since Twitter began trading as a public company, almost all of Costolo’s tweets have omitted his location. On Twitter for iPhone, which he uses, location can be turned on or off for each tweet.

His last geotagged tweet, shortly after noon on the day of Twitter’s IPO, showed him entering the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City, presumably on his way to Teterboro Airport, in New Jersey, and back home to San Francisco.

We originally wrote about the location data attached to Costolo’s tweets because investors sometimes pay significant money for clues about the comings and goings of corporate executives, hoping to suss out potential deals. And wealthy people in the public spotlight are often much more protective of their privacy than Costolo’s habits would seem to suggest. Some of his recent tweets, for instance, revealed when—and precisely where—he was hanging out at home.