Original Article can be found on Mashable.com
Google Latitude, the search giant’s location-sharing mobile app, is launching checkin offers nationwide, giving users the ability to unlock discounts with a handful of launch partners.
Much like Foursquare and Facebook, Latitude now reveals different offers if a user checks in to locations hosting a Latitude deal. However, Google adds a twist to the traditional checkin offer with its “status” system. Offers such as 20% off at American Eagle Outfitters can only be unlocked with statuses such as Regular, VIP or Guru, although these titles are customizable by Google’s partners. They are acquired by checking in to a specific place multiple times.
Google’s initial list of partners includes Arby’s, Macy’s, RadioShack, Finish Line, Famous Footwear, Great Clips, Naturalizer, Tasti D-Lite, Quiznos, Wireless Zone, Cellairis, PostNet and American Eagle Outfitters. Quiznos is offering customers a free sub when they buy one of equal or greater value (and the title of “Champion of Taste”), while Finish Line is giving a $10 discount on purchases over $50. Most Latitude deals offer similar discounts.
Google only added checkins to Latitude recently, and the iPhone app only got checkins two weeks ago, so today’s announcement is rather aggressive. Google clearly understands that it’s way behind in the local deals space. It’s the same reason why Google tried (and failed) to acquire Groupon and why it’s building its own Groupon competitor.
Google’s new Latitude offers are available for Google Maps for Android (which includes Latitude) and for Latitude for iPhone, although its iOS app doesn’t include status level achievements yet.
What do you think of Google Latitude’s nationwide deals? Is it a smart move by Google, or is it late to the party?
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