Google killing off Latitude, shifts location sharing to Google+

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will sunset its Latitude service next month, shifting core functions like location sharing and check-ins to its Google+ applications for Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS.

Latitude, introduced in early 2009, enabled consumers to map the whereabouts of friends and family in real time and continuously share location information. More than a million users signed up for Latitude in its first week of availability, but the mid-2011 introduction of the more full-featured Google+ social networking platform effectively spelled Latitude's demise, with Google doing little to update and enhance the service over the last two years.

Google said it will retire Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget and the Latitude website on Aug. 9. "You'll no longer be able to share your location using Latitude after retirement," reads a post on Google's Support site. "We haven't included Latitude as a feature in the latest version of Google Maps for mobile on Android, and we'll remove Latitude for iPhone on the App Store. We'll delete your list of friends on Latitude. You won't be able to see or manage friends."

Google encourages Latitude users seeking an alternative to embrace Google+. "Check-ins are available in the Google+ for Mobile app," Google states. "You can also share your location with your circles, and see your friends on the map, with the Location sharing feature of Google+ on Android and coming soon for iOS."

Google+ rivals Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) by giving users the flexibility to selectively share materials with friends and family sorted into circles. Google+ now ranks as the second-largest social platform worldwide with more than 500 million users but still trails far behind Facebook, which tops 1.1 billion monthly users across the globe, including 751 million mobile monthly active users.

For more:
- read this Google Support page
- read this Verge article

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