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Google Latitude Check-In Offers Take On Foursquare

Check-In Offers Launch Across the U.S.

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Google Latitude Check-In Offers Take On Foursquare
[ Business]

Back in February, Google added check-ins to Google Latitude, the company’s social location-based service. The feature found its way to the iPhone a couple weeks ago.

During SXSW, Google rolled out check-in offers for 60 places around Austin, Texas, and now they’ve launched check-in offers all across the United States for Android and iPhone users.

“Checking in lets you share the places that you visit and add context to your Latitude location for friends and family,” explains Douglas Gresham, a Software Engineer on the Google Maps for mobile team. “At the same time, you can keep a history of where you’ve been while gaining status at the places you visit the most. When you gain status at places, they can now reward your loyalty with check-in offers. From discounts to a free snack, check-in offers let places give you an extra reason to keep coming back.”

“By default, you can become a Regular, VIP, or Guru at places, but we’re also letting partners create their own status levels for you to achieve (coming soon on iPhone). For example, you can become a Champion of Taste at Quiznos or an AE Gold Shopper at American Eagle Outfitters, unlocking their check-in offers at the same time.”

Google Latitude Check-in Offers

Foursquare recently launched seven new types of offers for businesses to extend to customers. This move by Google should be seen as a direct competitor to this.

Google may have started this at SXSW, but I can tell you from having been there that Foursquare’s presence was much more widely felt throughout the event and the town.

Currently, Google partners on check-in offers include American Eagle, Quiznos, Arby’s, RadioShack, Finish Line, and Macy’s. This will no doubt get expanded much more widely in the future.

Read here for some other ideas on how to use Google Latitude for business.

Google Latitude Check-In Offers Take On Foursquare
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  • http://www.arcanasphere.com MrAndrewJ

    Foursquare built what is effectively the World of Warcraft of these services. Their service is a fun game, a social tool, and at times even useful to savvy consumers. Google just built the Guild Wars alternative: smaller, more difficult to use, but useful to the right customers just the same.

    That ends my Foursquare/Latitude comparison. Now Latitude/Android.

    Android entered into an established marketing with something fresh. Techies could get excited by the open nature of Android . People with less expendable cash than the iPhone crowd had a new option. Techies with limited discretionary spending power had something to openly lust for. Android was thus able to take a bite out of iOS.

    Latitude, in the year 2011, is attempting to take on Foursquare by making deals with Arby’s and Radio Shack. Let those three things connect for a moment. 2011 AD. Arby’s. Radio Shack. If that isn’t sad enough already, Radio Shack is now proudly displaying their status as iPad dealers. Android delivered us from their competitors. Latitude would deliver us TO them.

    There is nothing to get excited about. This is sad. Google is better than this. They should be acting like it. Latitude should be doing what Android did. They need to find a set of features everyone wished Foursquare would do but knows they would be crazy to implement: then implement it for themselves.

    (BIG for instance: Offer credits to their upcoming music service, or extra space in Picasa or Docs. Maybe tie the rewards into their check-ins. Overnight a free dry-iced gourmet Google cafeteria meal to someone who checks in to some extreme number of restaurants? Require the check-ins are at least 2 hours apart, though. Leverage their other products to create bribes. Create synergy with those other services. Use them to their full advantage. Don’t give people coupons, and certainly NOT for looking at iPads.)

    Courageous moves are where Google succeeds. This is no different.

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