Latitude Leaderboard: Does Google Want to Be the New Foursquare?

Image representing Google Latitude as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Google is expanding its reach across social media — first with Google+, now with Leaderboard, a new feature allowing users to earn points for checking in to a location via GoogleLatitude.

Last week, Google launched an updated version of Google Maps for Android, equipped with the new feature similar to Foursquare.

The company hasn’t officially said it wants to compete against Foursquare. Leaderboard’s addition to Google Latitude has been kept hush-hush. Google doesn’t even list Leaderboard as being a new feature on the Android Google Maps update. It only says it fixed bugs and has “improved battery performance for Latitude and Location History users.” Leaderboard is only available on the latest version of Google Maps, and not everyone has access to the feature yet.

We tested the new version of Google Maps with the Latitude Leaderboards on an Android smartphone. It is only accessible after a user checks in somewhere using Google Latitude. Maps users can share their location — as they have for the past year — with Google’s Latitude app. After check-in, the user earns points and is navigated to the Leaderboard page, which ranks the user and his or her Google+ friends. There is also a global page that ranks all users based on points from check-ins. The person with the most points earns a crown above his or her No. 1 ranking. Leaderboard doesn’t have a mayor, like Foursquare.

Do you use check-in apps? Would you leave Foursquare for Google’s Latitude Leaderboard?

Graphic courtesy of Engadget



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