Those of you who pay good attention to details, may have noticed the change to Latitude in the latest version of Google Maps for Android. The new update was released several days ago, with a rather insignificant changelog of bug fixes and improved battery performance, but without making a fuss about it, Google has also introduced Latitude Leaderboards.
Latitude is Google’s location service, which allows users to check-in into places they go to, and share their location with friends. In the new version, Google is introducing a game into Latitude, not unsimilar to the one played over at Foursquare. Checking in to locations earns you points, and the users who gain the most points, are featured in the Latitude Leaderboard.
In order to view the leaderboards, you’d need to first check-in to a location. After that, the leaderboard feature should be available, although it seems to not be available worldwide yet. Although mentioned only briefly in Google Map’s Help section, gamifying the check-in is still quite a step for Google in the Foursquare direction. Currently, it doesn’t seem as though points are being shared anywhere except for on the leaderboard itself.
What do you think? Will this be integrated into Google+ to create a rival for Foursquare?