Social networking software

Google: Hey, We've Got Places Too

Don't forget, prospective Facebook Places users, Google offers similar features to the Facebook's new location-sharing service with Google Maps for Mobile.   Just one day after Facebook announced Places, Google announced in a blog post that more than 100 million people a month are now using Google Maps on their mobile phones.

Although the search giant never mentions Facebook by name, it's awfully strange timing to send out a reminder about Google Maps for Mobile right after Facebook launched Places.

What to Do With Google Maps for Mobile

Regardless of the timing, there's no doubt you can use Google Maps for Mobile to do a lot more than you can with Facebook Places. You can use My Location to get your bearings when visiting a new city or neighborhood. Google Latitude lets you broadcast your location to your friends, and Place Pages can help you find hours of operation, reviews and other information about nearby restaurants, shops and landmarks. You can also use Google Maps on your mobile device to get voice-guided directions.

Google Feeling the Pressure?

There's no doubt Google Maps is a useful service, and with more than 100 million users every month it's clearly popular. But now Facebook is a

ttempting to popularize location-sharing among its 500 million users in a way that services like Google Latitude, Foursquare, or Gowalla could never do. So perhaps it's wise to remind users of all the great things you can do with Google Maps for Mobile just in case Facebook Places (powered by Microsoft's Bing Maps) starts to include other features that could compete with Google Maps.

Then again, maybe it's complete chance that Google Maps for Mobile just happened to reach 100 million users per month at the same time Facebook got into the location game. Just like the time Google and Bing just happened to strike real-time search deals in the same week. You know, pure coincidence.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).

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