With Google Latitude now supporting check-ins at local businesses, combined with the pending release of a daily deals service called Google Offers, the Internet giant is setting itself up to compete more directly with the likes of FourSquare and Groupon, among others.
It seems that Groupon’s snubbing of Google’s $6 billion buyout offer perhaps created a steely resolve within the Googleplex to beat Groupon at it’s own game. Now Google is clearly integrating many of it’s services to make checking in, finding friends, and getting deals at local businesses as easy as possible.
We love upstart companies with great ideas, but Google is really good at making things seamless for the end user (see Google video below), and with the Android handset shipments blowing away all other platforms, this could get interesting.
Groupon founder Andrew Mason is clearly a smart guy, but could anyone explain to me again why he turned down a deal that valued his trendy, 2 year old company higher than the likes of Versign and AMD?