Google has announced that their Check-in service based on Latitude, launched in Austin last month at SXSW, is now available across the US. This means you can use the Google Latitude app to check-in at locations across the US and unlock deals based on your status. The way it works is pretty simple:
- Check in. Check in using Latitude to share places with friends when you’re there.
- Gain status. Keep checking in every time you visit your favorite places to gain status there. You can tap your current status level to see your progress towards the next status level.
- Unlock offers. Places can make check-in offers available to you at each of their 3 status levels. When you gain higher status, you’ll unlock any available check-in offers.
Many are already asking what the point of all this is. We already have Facebook and Foursquare, among others, for check-ins and deals. It’s well-known that Google isn’t exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to doing social, so why would you bother checking in on Latitude instead of the competition?
Even though Latitude may not be as social as Foursquare or Facebook, there are some of us out there that don’t really care about the social features built into those services. At least, not as far as check-ins go. You may just want the badges and the status. Maybe you’re tired of getting 1 point for check-ins at places you’ve been to before and are looking for a reward system that’s a bit more flexible.
Google Latitude check-ins offers an interesting alternative if you want to share your location and care about getting deals. You can share your location to Twitter and Buzz from the app and I’m sure there is a way to also dump them into Facebook if the social aspect is important to you. Not only do you gain access to new deals based on your status level, but venues can even create their own achievement levels. Become a Champion of Taste at Quiznos or an AE Gold Shopper at American Eagle Outfitters, for instance.
Grab Google Maps for Android (Latitude is a feature of Maps; requires Android 1.6+) or the Latitude app for iPhone and start checking in to unlock deals. What do you think about Google Latitude check-ins? Waste of time or new weapon for your arsenal?Category: News | Tags: check-ins, geolocation, google, google latitude, latitude check-ins, location based services