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In news that may appear ominous to the likes of Foursquare and Groupon, Google has today confirmed that it is working on new products that make use of its location services.
Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of product management, said during a session at LeWeb in Paris that the company was looking at ways to monetise check-ins and bring better deals to its users.
Mayer also said that 10m people use Google Latitude, and behind voice and text, the company's maps application is the most used feature on Android phones.
In June mobile passed desktop for map usage permanently – from now on we will always have more usage on the phone than on desktop so it’s clear that maps and location are an important part of the mobile experience."
Mayer added that there were different ways of measuring the success of a location service, such as getting people to transact or simply owning the data, but that Google Maps was helping Google to better understand what users want and deliver relevant products.
When questioned about Groupon’s IPO, Mayer refused to comment on other companies, but confirmed that deals is something that interested Google.
I think the deals space is something that’s really compelling as it helps end users. We will see things change a lot in the coming years, and what can provide value to people, such as personalisation and integration into everyday tasks, is key to its success and you can expect us to focus on that.”
She also highlighted the importance of the social experience to check-ins and deals, suggesting that Google+ will be integrated into any future location services.
Google+ is critical for local as when you go somewhere the chances are you aren’t going by yourself – so Google Places and local search are social things.”