Become a retail Guru with Google Latitude check-in

Google tested Latitude check-in last month at SXSW and is now rolling out retail partners and offers across more cities. Use your Android or iPhone device to start checking in and gaining status levels.

I like to try out the latest social networking and location-based networks to see if there is any value to them and do still use Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook. I never really used Google Latitude much since it just seemed to show where friends were without any other redeeming value. As posted on the Google Lat Long Blog, Google has now expanded their Google Latitude check-in offers beyond their 60 test locations in Austin (timed last month for SXSW). You can now use Google Latitude check-in on the iPhone and Android devices.

Since the HTC ThunderBolt is a device that is now always with me, I plan to use it with this new Latitude feature to check out deals and offers as I travel around. Here are the directions posted on the Google blog:

  1. Check in. Check in using Latitude to share places with friends when you’re there.
  2. Gain status. Keep checking in every time you visit your favorite places to gain status there. You can tap your current status level to see your progress towards the next status level.
  3. Unlock offers. Places can make check-in offers available to you at each of their 3 status levels. When you gain higher status, you’ll unlock any available check-in offers.

You also gain status levels as you check in with Latitude to get better offers the more often you check in. The default status levels are Regular, VIP, and Guru, but partners can also create their own status levels. For example, you can become the Champion of Taste at Quiznos. If I get my wife an Android device, I am sure she would soon be the Queen of Macy's.

Current partners include:

  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Quiznos
  • Arby's
  • RadioShack
  • Great Clips

To get started on Android, update to the latest version of Google Maps for Android and for the iPhone get the Latitude app.

Thanks to PhoneScoop for the heads-up on this latest Latitude news.