Google Tests “Check-in Offers” At SXSW

Google recently introduced check-ins for Google Latitude in an effort to reinvigorate the product, which had fallen behind other newer LBS competitors such as Foursquare. Today Google announced that those check-ins will bring offers from local businesses in Austin, Texas (for SXSW). I’m not going to SXSW, but it will be the battle of the LBS mobile applications it appears.

“We’re doing a small experiment and we’re doing it here in Austin because of SXSW,” Marissa Mayer, VP of consumer products of Google, told an audience at the Signal:Austin conference today. ”This is Google entering the check-in space and really giving our users a way of reaping the rewards of checking in.”

Just two days ago Foursquare introduced new recommendations for users and new types specials for local business promotions. Whrrl today introduced recommendations.

Google explains check-in offers:

You’ll be able to see both available and locked check-in offers. And once you gain status and unlock a check-in offer, just tap “redeem” and show your phone to use it. Learn more at

Different types of offers are tied to different status levels to reinforce or promote loyalty. Check-in offers are different from Groupon-like daily deals, a segment that Google is entering after having tried and failed to acquire Groupon itself.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Features: General | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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