Location-based services give consumers and business owners the ability to communicate and stay connected on a whole new level. Since the inception of such tools including FourSquare both consumers and business owners are leveraging location-based marketing to its fullest potential. Not too long ago the world’s largest marketing company Google launched its social network competitor Google+ in an effort to create an ideal solution for online networking. While it remains premature most web users remain unaware of its check-in capabilities.
Google+ continues to improve daily and add new features for its users to utilize with primary focus on business. One of its unique options consists of the location-based program Latitude which gives users the ability to check-in on Google. While it’s not quite as advanced in comparison to FourSquare it does offers some unique features which directly tie into your Google profile.
Google Latitude is available for all major mobile devices available on the market. You can download your copy of Latitude for the mobile device of your choice to stay in touch with friends, family, or co-workers. In order to maximize the use of this app for your mobile device you’ll need to have a Google.com profile.
Using Google Latitude on Your Mobile Device
Once you’ve installed Google Latitude on your mobile device you’ll need to tweak it to your liking. Personally I use it on my iPhone and there were quite a few options that I customized myself. One of the most unique features about Latitude is that it gives you the options to choose from how you want your check-in status to appear on the web. Each time you check-in to a location you will be asked to specify the visibility of this action. You can either choose from Post Public (to the web & your Google Profile), With Friends on Latitude, or Private (Not shared). In my opinion it’s quite the handy selection of choices in comparison to the next closes competitor. There’s a bit more to these options though that Google won’t let you in on.
- Post Public (to the web & your Google Profile) – each time you select this option your check-in status will become visible to everyone on the web. In addition if you’re a Google+ user your check-in status will appear on your profile under the Buzz tab option. To my knowledge I’ve yet to find if there’s such option to display your Latitude check-ins on your public stream in a way that Facebook displays them.
- With Friends On Latitude – it wouldn’t be Google Latitude if there weren’t any options available. If you select this option during your check-in the app will prompt you with a choice of friends that you’d like to share your status with. Your friends list will also consist of individuals that have placed you their circles on Google+.
- Private (Not Shared) – if you want some anonymity then perhaps this is the best option for you. There are times when I tend to use this option myself dependent upon they physical location I’ve chosen to check into.
I tend to find this application quite useful in communicating with my network. There’s quite a bit of room for improvement here and something that Google is perhaps working on. For example there are some discrepancies and inaccuracy on specific geo locations or even lack of for that matter. While it’s imperfect there’s quite a bit to utilize and leverage when seeking to stay connected with your target audience.