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!
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.
Checking in or tagging locations on location-based social networks like Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter is no doubt the hottest phenomenon today (besides possibly grabbing daily deals).
Location-based service (LBS) sites allow consumers to share extensive detail about your business from their mobile devices and give you the opportunity to engage with and attract new customers. LBS growth continues for consumers and businesses alike as mobile search grows.
Take Foursquare for example. It exploded onto the scene last year and now has 5 million registered users. Foursquare allows users to check-in to a location, share details with friends, and provide “tips” about your business.
Gowalla provides a similar service and now has more than 700,000 registered users. And, this doesn’t begin to cover the specialty niche LBS sites like Foodspotting and ShopKick.