Mountain View, California–Last week, Google announced that it will be dropping Google Latitude on August 9th of this year. Latitude is a location sharing service that allows users to share their location with a list of “Friends” via the built-in GPS on their mobile devices.
Although all Android devices will continue to come with location reporting and location history features, the social aspect of Google Latitude is reminiscent of other social networking venues such as Foursquare and Facebook’s check-in.
Google Latitude Jumped on the Bandwagon
Google Latitude was implemented in response to the surge of location-sharing services accessible for mobile devices. As users increasingly move to smartphones and tablets to access their social networks, reporting or “checking in” to various locations has seen a continued rise in popularity. Google users who make use of Google Latitude have enjoyed the ability to include friends and family, and its integration with Google Maps has encouraged a variety of creative location sharing projects.
Google has assured concerned users that their location histories will be saved to their mobile location settings. Although Google Latitude itself does not boast a high level of followers like other previously discontinued products (such as Google Reader), its announced exit is beginning to raise questions. With the increase in cloud-based services, it is important that users remain confident that the data they store will not be lost in a future update.
Bringing it All Together
The removal of Google Latitude and subsequent push towards Google+ represents the latest in a series of moves to integrate Google products. Recently, social messaging products such as Google Talk, Google Chat, Android messaging, and eventually Google Voice have begun the merge into the single Google Hangouts feature introduced with Google+.
By encouraging users to make use of the Google+ check in feature instead of using the separate Google Latitude, the platform is continuing in its attempts to build one overarching and consistent system. With announced updates to Google Maps, Google Play Store, and Android, Google is moving gradually closer to a cohesive digital universe for its users to share and interact.