While most folks didn’t bat an eye this summer when the notorious Google Latitude closed, a handful of people that used it for business were dismayed. Google Latitude allowed users to share their location on Google maps so that friends/co-workers could view precisely where they were on the globe. Google tried turning it into a loyalty program to no avail, and has since rolled the technology into the Google+ platform (Android only).
This week, Google announced Google+ location sharing support for iOS, bringing back all of the Latitude features in a cross-platform fashion. Now that the major phone types are supported, location sharing through the social network can be a powerful tool, and here are a few ways to use it for your business:
Potential location sharing uses
- Viewing other company reps in a specific city
- Seeing where co-workers are during conferences
- Find out who is running late for meetings
- Getting more accurate directions to a specific latitude/longitude
Something that we use regularly
- As a commuter that is sometimes restricted due to weather — the ability to see whether or not I’m driving into the office for the day!
- Ability for employees to see who’s back to the city successfully when traveling
How to use it
- Firstly, you’ll need a Google+ account. Don’t have one? Sign up.
- Next, identify circles that you’d like to share your location with. Maybe even set up a new circle that has “location” in it so you don’t make any mistakes.
- Go to the “Locations” tab
- You’ll see the following screen if you haven’t enabled this feature yet. Turn on location sharing (you won’t share with anyone yet until you choose to do so). If you don’t see the prompt, click on “location settings” to make changes. [divider]
- Now that location sharing is enabled, you can choose who to share with. A nice feature is that you can choose to share a “pinpoint location” that is an exact location, or a city level location. This means that you’ll only share the city name — no address info with users. This option is likely beneficial for the example of reps looking to find others in the same city or close as it gives just enough information to help. [divider]
- Choose who to share your location with. You can choose individuals or circles that have been previously set up: [divider]
- That’s it! Users that have gained access will now be able to view their locations tab and you will appear at either the precise location or the general city location:[divider]
This is something that is an exciting new upgrade for businesses that leverage location and we hope you have a use for this technology! Also, remember to be very careful with your sharing settings as it is easy to share with errant circles if setting up in a rush.
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