Google produces so many services and offerings that many just keep running in the background even without widespread adoption. One of those services is Latitude which is about two years old, has 10 million users and has generated little buzz.
It looks like Google may be trying to change that as it has introduced a check in feature for Latitude that ties in many of the various parts of Google’s location options like Maps and Places.
From the Google Mobile blog
Latitude is built right into Google Maps for Android so check-ins work across Latitude and Maps seamlessly. For example, check in at that new hamburger joint, and you’ll see its Place page with reviews to help you order. When friends check in at a place, you can go straight from their Latitude profile to its Place page to learn about it, fire up Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for turn-by-turn directions to them, and more.
As per usual, Google has put together a video to explain the service so here it is
Google has made many awkward starts and stops trying to get to some semblance of a social offering. This latest move somewhat bridges the gap between the Place Page push and location based options. Interestingly enough, however, there is no mention of Hotpot in the blog post or the video. It’s the silo-ing of these different pieces that seem to want to fit together that makes it hard for users to truly adopt the whole package. If only Google would take the time to truly ‘productize’ Places, Hotpot and Latitude in a way that would make sense to the average end user they might have more success in breaking the social barrier.
Do you see this combination of different elements serving to move Google out of the social media doghouse? Or will this be another effort that runs out of steam like Buzz and others?
What’s your take?