Today I received the official email from Google notifying us that Google Latitude will be shut down on August 9th. Google seems to be in the mode of shutting down their services lately. With the July 1st shutdown of Google Reader a lot of consumers are getting concerned. The good news is that with the shutdown of Google Latitude we have been given a replacement.
Google Latitude is a feature that has lived inside of Google Maps mobile applications that allowed you to share your location with specific friends. Ultimately, Google Latitude was its own mini social network as you were able to send Latitude friend requests etc. It makes natural sense that Google would move this into Google+.
Google+ now includes “Locations.” Locations works in almost the exact same way as Latitude. It allows you to determine which individuals or circles, within your Google+, you would like to share your location with. I can see this as a very effective tool for companies, groups, or organizations who can setup a circle with the specific team, supervisor, or group with whom they need to keep tabs on each other’s locations.
The interface feels very Latitudish to me. You can see the icon with the Google+ profile picture of those contacts who have shared their location with you over a Google Map. You can also invite your circles or Google+ connections to share their location with you.
Currently the new Google+ Locations has only been added to the Google+ Android app but Google suggests it will be added to iOS shortly.
I think I like the change 🙂