Google Finally Adds Check-Ins To Latitude, With A Couple Twists

Google has finally added full check-in capabilities to its Latitude product, following in the footsteps of Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Facebook, and others that have been doing check-ins for some time now. Latitude has been a tool that lets one user share his/her location with friends, but now it goes further and allows users to check-in to specific businesses and locations.

latitude-checkin

But Google’s check-in system comes with a few twists compared to similar services:

  • Latitude can send reminders to check-in at locations when you arrive.
  • Latitude supports automated check-ins at places you choose.
  • Latitude automatically checks you out when you leave the location.

Those are convenient features that check-in fans will enjoy. But, Latitude check-ins are also missing a couple other features common to competing services:

  • Users can’t currently add new locations to Latitude. It relies on the database of locations from Google Places.
  • Users can’t share their locations on social networks like Facebook or Twitter (something many Twitter/Facebook users probably hope is a feature that’s never added).

Perhaps the biggest thing missing from Latitude check-ins is the iPhone. Google’s blog post says the feature is currently only to Android users with Google Maps 5.1 for Android. But Google says that’s coming soon.

It’s also odd that Latitude check-ins aren’t (yet?) more closely tied to Google Hotpot, the local/social recommendation tool that Google has been promoting heavily since its launch a couple months ago.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Foursquare | Google: Maps & Local | Search Engines: Location / Checkin Services | Yelp

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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