Google Latitude leaderboards to rival Foursquare?

20 Feb 2012

Google’s latest update for Google Maps on Android now offers points when users check into locations with Latitude, allowing them to compete with others on a leaderboard, similar to Foursquare.

AndroidWorld reports that the new leaderboard allows users to see where other people in their Google+ circles have checked into and look at the amount of points they have gained while doing so.

The new feature has been quietly released in the latest update, as it isn’t listed in the Google Maps update which only highlights bug fixes and improved battery performance. According to reports, the leaderboard is only available for some users.

A Google status page says that depending on how often a user checks in, their status can change. It starts as ‘Visitor’ and then progresses to ‘Regular, ‘VIP’ and ‘Guru.’ Users can also keep updated with their recent check-in history.

Google also said there will be check-in deals and that businesses can customise status level icons and names for their customers, though The Verge reports these features are not live yet.

The new features could place Google firmly in competition with location check-in service Foursquare. It wouldn’t be the first internet giant to attempt to rival Foursquare, as Facebook launched its own check-in feature last year, along with a ‘Deals’ sections for limited regions for users to gain discounts and coupons if they check into a restaurant or shop.