Google Helps You Stalk Your Friends

Ever need to know where your friends are at all times? If you find it important to stalk your friends’ whereabouts, Google Latitude is for you. Launched today, the new app for Google’s Mobile Maps pinpoints your friends on a mobile map. For mobile marketers,...

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Ever need to know where your friends are at all times? If you find it important to stalk your friends’ whereabouts, Google Latitude is for you.

Launched today, the new app for Google’s Mobile Maps pinpoints your friends on a mobile map. For mobile marketers, this may provide a fine opportunity to pitch two friends a coupon for a local meetup… if friendly mobile stalking takes off.

Granted, this opt-in program isn’t designed for everyone. To protect privacy, Google specifically requires people to sign up for the service. People can share their precise location, the city they’re in, or nothing at all.

Google hopes its mapping technology will lead to big ad dollars, of course. Google Earth, with its coverage of the globe, could make money – one day. “The near-term opportunity is in local search,” for example people looking for restaurants or hotels, said John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Maps, in an interview with CNET. Google has begun experimenting with advertisements on Google Maps and Google Earth, added Peter Birch, product manager of Google Earth, at the launch event.

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3 comments

  1. Josh Curcio

    I agree. I believe that the Latitude program is pretty cool…but definitely not for everyone. I can see younger generations eating this up.

    I live in a very small town. It almost scares me a bit that if I were to use this program, anyone of the users that I allow to see my location can reach me within 5 minutes.

    What is next Google? What’s next?

  2. Donny Kemick - Life's Mobile

    I think I may be in the “younger” group that Giff highlighted because I think this app could be very useful. Aside from the previously mentioned, I think it would be handy for business associates or clients in large, metro areas where the chances of being late are high. Simply pull up the map, and see how far away the other party is.

    My only hope is that Google sticks to their backseat Ad strategy and doesn’t interfere with the experience too much.

  3. Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    Granted, Google’s Latitude isn’t for everyone. Much has already been reported from the media about not wanting to be tracked. But these reports come from a demographic over 30 years of age. This may not be their target market.

    I believe the youth will love this product as they are well over the whole “privacy” issue. They have grown up in an era where “privacy” is not a key issue to them. This will be a fun to have add-on. Put yourself back in high school or college. You never really cared if people knew where you were…in fact, you wanted to be found if something better was going on.

    In addition, parents will most likely embrace this to follow their children’s whereabouts. Now the teenagers won’t like this, but the parents will. Now we all know in advance what the teenagers will do to avoid this “tracking”…simply leave the phone in the car or give it to a friend to take somewhere else when they don’t want their parents to track them. But for the most part, they will have it on their person…

    For me, no thanks. However, for others, it is just another cool product that people will play around with and have fun with…

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