CheckingOut… Google Latitude


Following in the footsteps of Nokia Friendview, Google has decided to delve into the world of location-based mobile social networking. Google Latitude is a free addon service to Google Maps Mobile that allows users to add friends and share current location and status updates with them. Of course this requires that the user have a GPS enabled mobile phone.

One of the fears of location-based services is the lack of privacy. Google Latitude allows users to control who has access to what information including the ability to hide or share only a city-level location.

If mobile-based social networking is likely to take off then this is the service that will initiate it. Most people who use mobile maps services are well familiar with Google Maps. It has already become an invaluable tool so adapting its use to social networking is really a no-brainer especially when you can invite your entire Gmail contacts list to join you. That’s something that Friendview really failed at.

About the Author: skribe

Based in Perth, Australia, Antonio Barimen (aka skribe) is a writer, digital media consultant and social media producer.

He is available to help you develop social marketing and digital media strategies, improving communication between staff, partners and suppliers or just increasing the number of fans on Facebook. He has developed successful digital and social media projects for clients including CBS, Evian, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Networks, Pernod Ricard and American Express.

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Post Under CheckingOut, Social Media February 4, 2009
  • … guess the thing is, that we don’t actually have much privacy anyway – RFID chips in the USA are in passports and drivers licenses, and a guy with some ebayed gear plucked 3 passport RFIDs in less than 20 minutes. If you use a mobile phone, you’re already visible to around half the population of the developed world, and if you blog, or upload pics to Flickr, or do anything, there’s software around that can dig out connections you wouldn’t think possible.

    I joined one of those social network / lifestream type sites about a year ago, and it went away and found stuff about me that even I’d forgotten about, and presented me with this list of social sites and websites and pages and asked me to confirm each one.

    But – the thought occurs to me that there *have* to be programs out there that won’t ask me for confirmation . . .

    teddlesruss’s last blog post..What Price Convenience?

    • I’ve actually been stalked online by someone and let me tell you it’s not fun. But social media tools are invaluable in today’s society so to quote a mentor of mine, ‘You’ve gotta give a little to get a little.’ I think as long as I’m in control of what others can see and do then it’s ok. Once that is removed from my domain (like the RFID passports) then it begins becoming an issue.