Google adds check-in deals to location-based service

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Google said it has added so called “check-in deals” nationally to its location-based service. Companies participating in the service at launch include American Eagle Outfitters, Quizno's, Macy's and RadioShack. The new feature enables brands to offer consumers discounts and samples.

Each brand can give consumers three tiers of offers, depending on the number of times he or she checks in at a particular location using Latitude. Consumers can redeem the offers via a digital coupon that displays on the consumer's mobile phone.

For instance, when a consumer checks in at Quiznos for the first time, they will receive a free bag of chips or cookie with their purchase. After 10 check-ins, the consumer will receive a $1- or $2-off coupon, depending on whether a sandwich is purchased. A consumer will receive a free second sandwich of equal or lesser value when they purchase a sandwich after their 20th check in.

Google's addition of check-in deals to its location-based service maneuvers the company next to Foursquare, Facebook and Groupon, which all feature location-based offers. Late last year, Google reportedly made a $6 billion offer to purchase Groupon, but was turned down. According to news reports, Groupon is considering an initial public offering that would value the company at $25 billion.

Google is also reportedly tying one-quarter of employee bonuses to the success of its social strategy. New CEO Larry Page also promoted numerous executives to SVP this week, according to the The Associated Press. Vic Gundotra was named SVP of social ventures, while Susan Wojcicki was appointed SVP for advertising, according to numerous media reports.

A Google representative referred requests for comment to a company blog post on the launch. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company rolled out check-in offers in Austin, Texas last month.

Consumers with iPhones can download the Google Latitude application through Apple's app store, while Android users can access the service via Google Maps.


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