Google Validates Locle with Latitude
Google today announced the release of Google Latitude, their effort at a location-based mobile “friend-finder”. Google’s entry into the space validates Locle’s business model, that location-based advertising will have a significantly higher CPM value than traditional online advertising.
Google’s launch version of Latitude does not bring anything significantly new to the mobile friend-finder space, with well-established players such as Locle, Nulaz, Belysio, Rummble, Aka-Aki, BrightKite and Loopt (http://bdnooz.com/lbsn-location-based-social-networking-links/).
Google seems to be forgetting their own message, that location is a commodity (thanks to their own geoLocation API). A compelling mobile friend-finder application needs more than to show where friends are.
Google’s announced mobile platform support will cover about 30% of the mobile phones in the market today. They have some catching up to do with Locle’s 70% market support.
Google Latitude is being released as YASN (yet another social network) with no support of external social networks and communities.
However, Googles established install base of Google Maps for Mobile will give everyone a run for their money.
But should Google be getting into the “buddy finder” software business. Their mission is to sell more advertising. They should be focused on providing the tools and technologies to established companies to drive more location-based, mobile and social traffic that can be monitized with Google’s AdWords machine.