Location, Location, Location: Google Latitude Has 3 Million Active Users


Location is the hottest craze in social networking right now, as developers and social media sites have realized the huge potential of the smartphone as a way to track the places people are visiting and keep them connected with their friends and followers. Everyone wants in on the location game, but one service that has been chugging along in the background with little mention is Google Latitude. Most people took Google’s location-based service as a bust, but Steve Lee is here to say, “Latitude is not dead.”


In fact, Lee points out this is far from fact, with Latitude now hosting 3 million active users. For reference, FourSquare just recently broke the 1 million mark. The user-base picks up a big boost thanks to Google’s smartphone platform, with over 10 percent of all Android users using the service.

The apparent low market penetration has a lot to do with iPhone users being less keyed-in to the service thanks to Steve Jobs and his anti-Google agenda. OK, so it might have less to do with that and more to do with Latitude operating as a background task, something that up until OS 4 the iPhone was incapable of. Lee also went on to suggest that Latitude may eventually gain explicit location abilities in combination with the already present implicit tracking (meaning FourSquare-like check ins).

Any Latitude users out there? Lee notes that 25 percent of those signed up to the service currently have zero friends, so maybe the real key in getting Latitude noticed is upping the social value of tracking your location. For now I will stick with FourSquare and continue on my quest to best all my friends in the weekly leader boards.

[via TechCrunch]

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  1. 3M users? Really? I don’t know anyone who uses Latitude.

    I’ve tried getting into it on a number of occasions, but it never stuck. I’d probably be more inclined to hang in there with the service if any of my close friends used it to share their location as well, but it’s sort of depressing just to see my little marker all alone on the map.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one dealing with this kind of chicken-egg problem.

  2. I am using it. I use it to keep track of my boss (who probably forgot that it is setup), and he can know where I am (if he even remembers that it is maps).

  3. my friends and i use it all the time, its prefect when you dont have to tell anybody where the party is, they just show up!

  4. I’ve tried using it several times but it never shows a proper location for me or my wife so we stopped using it.

  5. I sometimes use it.

    I might get a few friends locations.

  6. me and my girl use it cuz we have trust issues

  7. hummm, iam gettting my gf an android phone, that way ill know where she at!! lolz,

  8. Joseph,
    that’s cause your wife’s at MY house!

  9. Haha, david.. your relationship is NEVER going to last. don’t get further involved. the end. better to be happy than miserable cuz you’re too insecure to just move on

  10. I use it, and for the first time last week it really came into its own. I was looking at Google Maps while walking to a bar and saw a friend of mine was in another bar that I was about to walk right past. Of course I popped in to say hi – and then about 10 minutes later a friend of ours on the other side of the planet who also had Lattitude sent us a text to ask what we were celebrating!

    I think a *really* useful addition would be a proximity-based notification system. I wouldn’t have noticed my friend’s location if I didn’t happen to be using Google Maps at the time.

  11. Me, My Wife, Sister In Law and Brother In Law all use it. We all got the Incredible last week. Now the calls are “when are you coming home?” Not “so where are you today?” Yesterday I called home when I saw that everyone was at my house. No one answered the Home Line, because a nice was on it. Called wife to tell here I was headed to the store. But she did not answer (son playing with phone). Called sister in law who I could see was there. She informed me why no one seemed to be picking up.

    Also I was over in Purceville VA. I brought up lattiude and selected my wife. Selected Navigate… took me straight to the house the party had moved to.

  12. I use Latitude along with around 10 of my close friends and relatives. It works great for us because we all live apart. That way when we are close we can get together. My wife also likes to see where I am at when I go on cross country motorcycle trips. She worries.

  13. I actually used it a couple of weeks ago. I went on a trip with some friends, and we needed to take multiple cars. It was pretty cool following their progress on Latitude, and it actually came in very useful.

    They got there a before we did and we didn’t have an address so I just navigated to my friend’s location and it took us right there.

  14. I dont see a Google Latitude in the Android market.

  15. I have it set up but it always seemed kind of creepy to me. I sent out a few invites and nobody bit.

    Generally, people like to have SOME privacy and knowing one’s location isn’t always a good idea. Like if your buying a gift for your significant other, they will know you were at a particular store. Or lets say your supposed to stay away “from Taco Bell” and you sneak a visit in over lunch one day, your spouse will know lol.

    It would be fine if you could just turn it off with no drama. But then the fact that you turned Latitude off indicates that your somewhere you don’t want your mate or family to know where you are, which leads to questions unto itself.

  16. worked for a while, then quit… not a reliable app.

  17. @Miguel,

    Latitude allows you to spoof your location, so if you didn’t want someone to see where you were, i.e. you were buying a gift (or for some something a little more shady) then you can have it show that your still at work or wherever your supposed to be. I enjoy using it because if my wife is out shopping or something and I want to meet her I just navigate to her with google nav. and I don’t have to ask her which store or anything. Lattitude rocks! Just wish more people I knew were using it.


    Latitude is built into google maps all you have to do is enable it.

  18. I use Latitude, and so does my SO. It’s nice to be able to see where he is when we’re meeting at a location

  19. I use Latitude and have about a dozen friends on there. It actually does proximity location, but only if there’s normally a big difference in the location between the two people. For example, I have a friend on Latitude who lives on the other side of the country. He came to town to visit and as soon as his plane landed I got an email from Google saying that one of my friends who is normally really far away is now within X miles. I think it’s a great service!

  20. Thanks DJ.

  21. Kills the battery on the Incredible, I can’t use it. Also have to agree that since none of my friends have it, its rather sad seeing my lonely little icon in a city of millions. Hard to get those iphone users I’m friends with to come around to anything google these days though

  22. Like Joseph, my wife and cannot get it too work. It never seemed to update. We had gps on and tried playing with the settings. Were we doing somthing wrong?

  23. does latitude remember where you parked your car? I don;t have a droid yet and I have been angry about Verizon lack of buddy beacon feature for a few years now. it’s nice that google broke the mold and made Verizon offer a fully functional phone the take advantage of current innovations in cell phone technology and related fields.

  24. I’ve been using it now and then – but I think I’m more cautious about it than Foursquare because location information is so readily available on Google maps.

  25. I have been using Google Latitude on my Nokia E71 since it was introduced last year, and I have gotten two (of my six) BlackBerry-owning buddies to sign up. I even got another BlackBerry for my girlfriend, for us Latitude was the killer feature that we HAD to have. It’s a tremendous asset, and I only wish that they would leverage it more.

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