Google has joined others in the game of check-in. However, at this moment, it is for Google Android only with the latest Maps 5.1. No incentives for checking in locations yet but it is a start.
After reading from the source, it seems that the only differences from competitors like Foursquare, Yelp and etc are automatic check in and check out of the location.
Here is what Google mentioned on its blog.
Not your typical check-ins
Because you can use Latitude to automatically detect your location, we’ve added a few twists to checking in to make it really easy:
- Notifications: Turn on check-in notifications in Latitude’s settings and get a notification to check in at a nearby place once you arrive. Never forget to check in again.
- Automatic check-ins: Choose to automatically check in at specific places you designate, and you’ll be checked in when you’re there. You can talk to friends or finish your bagel without fumbling with your phone.
- Check out: Once you leave, Latitude knows to automatically check you out of places so friends aren’t left guessing if you’re still there.
At this moment, there is no ability to add venue. It makes use of Google Places to check in. And if you continue to check in regularly to the same place, you can earn special status like a “Regular,” a “VIP” or a “Guru” on Google Place page.
Here is the introduction video.
Do you think this will take off? It is a tough fight with Foursquare, especially when Google started late in this game.