Google Latitude actually proving popular
7th May 2010 | 10:21
Rumours of its death were greatly exaggerated
Google is maintaining that Latitude is not dead, it's growing at a steady pace and could soon incorporate new features.
Speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo, Steve Lee of Google confirmed that not only does the search engine's location-based Latitude service have eight million signed up to use it, three million are actually active.
That's right, despite claims from Middle England newspapers stating Latitude will enable all of the secret stalkers to finally get their chance to shine, people are actually using the service.
Lee did admit that 25% of them didn't have any friends, which makes it hard to see how they can be 'active' - but in the future this will be less relevant.
On, and on, and on...
The 'always on' nature of Latitude in the background - while being something of a battery sucker - means Google can give users real time data on their location-based habits too.
And the popularity of FourSquare hasn't gone unnoticed either - Google is looking at offering check-ins with Latitude, mirroring the location-based pseudo-phenomenon.
However, it will be more of a 'hybrid model' according to Lee, with the friend-following business still very much at the fore.
With Facebook now considering local services, it makes a lot of sense for Google to stay in this arena, and if it can actually make Latitude into a really compelling service then it would be in pole position to take advantage.