Why Google Latitude is About to Crush FourSquare

February 1, 2011
13

If you'll take a look below at a bit of the description of the new features on Google Latitude, a close relative of Google Maps, you'll see that its coming rather close to, and in some cases stepping right on the feet of, the mecha-social-monster Foursquare and their social media game. By the numbers, there were 381,576,305 check-ins during the year 2010, all of them on Foursquare, this same year seeing a growth in users by 3400%. Altogether there have been over 6,000,000 people to sign up for Foursquare since its inception in March 11, 2009. Google Latitude boasts 10,000,000 users participating each and every month.

You can see the numbers 6,000,000 and 381,576,305 on Foursquare's own blog, while the number 10,000,000 comes from Liz Gannes of NetworkEffect. These numbers speak for themselves, so I'll go you one better - the awesomeness of Google Latitude's new Check in feature:

In this new version, you're using Latitude to do the following things with the following features:
Notifications: turn on check-in notifications so that you'll get a notification to check in at each location you enter.
Automatic Check-Ins: just like it sounds, this option checks out in automatically when you enter locations (but only locations you've pre-specified, so no Big Brother.)
Check Out: Latitude automatically checks you out of locations once you're out of range.

Also, features include:
Place Page: Each location that's integrated into this system already has a Place page with reviews, links, directions, etcetera.
Status: Like FourSquare, you can earn special statuses if you've checked into a place enough times, (and possibly if you're the one with the most check ins, though its unclear at the moment.) You can be Regular, VIP, or Guru.
Sharing: Google is careful to note that everything in Latitude is 100% opt-in, from sharing your location to allowing your location to be automatically shared. Share with the whole world, your friends only, or just with yourself. Coming later this week you'll be able to see your whole history of check-ins at google.com/latitude on your computer.

Check out the rest of the post from whens that description came [Here on SlashGear] With a userbase 40% bigger than Foursquare already, and this new set of amazingly similar but ever-so-slightly-better features being employed today, you can bet Foursquare's about to be zeroed out, or at least taking the path of MySpace, aka dead-mans-trail, very soon.

If you'd like to check out this new version of Latitude, just download the latest version of Google Maps from Android Marketplace, [DIRECT LINK FOR ANDROID USERS WITH VERSION 1.6 AND HIGHER], and join Latitude from the main menu.

OR of course, then again, there's always Footfeed:


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  • http://androidheadlines.com Androidheadlines.com Admin

    I wonder if this is a preview to google plus one…..i am sure we will see it integrated in their

  • Nope

    Unless they really get after it and maybe do some integration with their Groupon alternative, I really don’t see Latitude gaining traction. Facebook has already eaten their lunch with their checkin service and Forsquare already has its userbase accustomed to using it in that way. I just don’t see Latitude catching on. None of my friends use it and I seriously doubt this will change that.

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      I heartily disagree. Google has a trust center in gigantic numbers, and which do you prefer? RC Cola or Coke? Tab or Pepsi?

      • Nope

        The problem with that logic is that nobody but nerds even knows what Latitude is. The “number of Latitude users” is such a grossly inaccurate number imo, as I’d wager 90% of people “using” Latitude have no idea they are and I don’t mean that in a good way. Hell, Gmail, for all it’s fanfare among the tech community, has only recently begun to become popular in the mainstream and even then its numbers are dwarfed by hotmail and yahoo mail.

        I maintain it’ll never gain traction in its current iteration unless Facebook completely botches Places somehow. People who use Foursquare know they’re doing so and more people are learning to use Facebook Places because they’re on Facebook anyway and see their friends checking in. Buzz is the easy Latitude analogy here and I’m not sure how/why the result will be any different.

        I hope I’m wrong :) I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Goog and hope they continue to do well, but I think they’ve missed the boat on this hugely. They could’ve owned the market with Dodgeball if they’d have executed on it but for whatever reason they didn’t.

  • http://AndroidCommunity.com Dylan Bailey

    Google has connections, their ability to create a whole new and improved application to compete with Foursquare should really have the kind folks at Foursquare worried. But – competition is always welcome because it makes both applications better.

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      agree completely. testing the new functionality out now – looks fabulous so far

  • Anonymous

    I also think lets wait and see if this will gain traction. Google Latitude has 10 Million users…I bet there is already a good bunch that doesnt even know that they signed up for latitude and are they really actively using it such as a lot of addicted Foursquare users who make 50 checkins per day? Not so sure.

    Id like it to get more popular just because I love Google Maps and an integrated “Foursquare” within would be great. But Im not sure it will happen…. even on Facebook not many of my friends are using Facebook PLaces. MANY more are using Foursquare. So not even the mighty Facebook seems to be gaining traction aginst Foursquare…at least from my experience.

  • Sbarney

    I’m choosing not to use this because it requires my Buzz profile be set to public. I really want to use it with my Latitude friends, not activate the privacy problem that is Buzz. Grrrr.

  • http://twitter.com/tijmz tijmz

    If Google puts their mind to beating Foursquare, they could do it. Foursquare is limited by its quest for a business model – which as I get it now is selling customized badges. For Google, the business model is immediately clear: improved ads and a new level of sociological data. Also, Foursquare has done little to gain traction outside of the US: that market is up for grabs.

    The problem is that Google isn’t putting that much effort into Latitude, or at least doesn’t seem to be. They’ve had the check-in system for a while (although you’d be forgiven for not noticing it) but still lack the gamist elements (badges, mayorships) of Foursquare which, silly as they may be, explain a lot of Foursquare’s success. To succeed, Google would have to mimick or improve on these, and somehow offer a better experience, not only to pull over Foursquare users, but also because all other things equal, Google has an image problem when it comes to privacy it needs to compensate for in some way.

    I like Latitude a lot more than Foursquare, because it’s more fine-grained in the information it offers (you can see me being on the road, not just declaring I’m drinking coffee). Still, I see Google contact who just bought an Android pop up for two weeks and then leave, so I have the feeling I am alone until Google makes a strong effort and brings interesting offers to the table.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bob.W.Boles Bob Boles

    I still like Foursquare much more than Latitude, mostly because of the badges, mayorships, specials, etc. I do, however, like the auto-check-in and auto-check-out features of latitude. Would really love to see these features added to Foursquare.

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      with any luck, both apps will become better because of their similarities. here’s hoping

  • http://twitter.com/Pure_Chiro Pure Chiropractic

    Thanks for this, Chris. Do you know if a business has to create a latitude listing, or is one generated from Google Places data? Does a business have to claim it’s latitude listing to modify it, as it does with places?

    Thanks again,
    Dr.J

  • http://www.waynejohn.com/ Wayne John

    But….what about the badges and mayorships? That kinda makes it more fun when no one else really cares where you are at any given moment.