Checking in from Google Latitude lets you easily share the places you go with friends, and you can even choose to get check-in notifications or automatically check in to make it even easier. In addition to sharing places, you can also gain status as a “Regular”, “VIP”, or “Guru” at places depending on how often you’ve checked in there. You can even see your progress along the way by tapping your current status. I’ve been checking in almost everywhere I go, and after a steady stream of caffeination at my favorite coffee shop, I’m proud to be a Guru there!
For those who missed it there was a great online webinar event on earlier this evening by “Google thinkmobile” about the growth of mobile technology with really fascinating stats.
IF you are questioning whether YOUR business should have a mobile website or application, check out a couple of screenshots I grabbed and also Slideshare presentation given by some “Mobile leading lights”, a little heavy on the figures but interesting non the less ?
Here’s some images / figures to ponder from the Google thinkmobile event:
Mobile traffic (in the USA) is exploding with 4x growth in the past year and all sign are we are mirroring our American cousins, or more likely we are ahead of the game:
1 in 3 ‘Mobile Google Searches are “Local” which provides a very high conversion rate of this search resulting in a call to business, a staggering 61% !
79% of Smartphone users employ their phones to help when shopping !!!
Wow ! Wow ! . . . and thrice Wow ! Google really is on a mission !
Google Ads are on advertising offensive with Google mSearch (Mobile Browser Search) with . . .
Android wasn’t much of a focus on Google’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, as there were bigger fish to fry, but there were a few interesting nuggets along the way. At the end of 2010, search on mobile devices grew four times more than the previous year.
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 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:
At iMobile Local we are trying to keep you, small business owners abreast of what’s going on in the whirlwind world that is ‘iMobile’ , there is sooooo much activity with Google, Facebook etc directly at YOUR KIND OF BUSINESS . . . Yesterday Google announced that it was adding check-ins (and loyalty categories) to Latitude. It also announced the global expansion of HotPot, its recommendations tool. Checkout the video (left)
Google Places apps for both iPhone and Android allow people to rate and review businesses (HotPot’s objective). And on Places Pages, in Android, you can also check-in (that’s coming to iPhone). In addition all of this is deeply integrated with Google Maps and Navigation on Android handsets.
Google is also developing a Groupon clone. No doubt deals/offers will also be distributed on Google Place Pages when that service gets off the ground. Separately Google has been experimenting with “mobile Offers Ads” that show discounts and coupons intended to drive foot traffic to offline businesses.
Google is at it again. A recent change in how Google displays local search results has created a competitive advantage for some local businesses while others remain in the dark about the major competitive shift that just occurred.
If you’ve done a Google search for a local business or local service provider recently (for example, “Chicago accountant” or “chiropractor Sacramento”), you may have already noticed a brand new look at the top of Page 1 for many of these listings. These results are no longer coming from the regular pool of Internet websites that are shown with non-local searches. Instead, the results you see are coming from inside their own Google Business Listings (also known as Google Places and formerly Google Maps).
So what does this mean for local business owners?