Location turf wars?
More than 100m people across the world use Google Maps for mobile every month to find their way from A to B, just five years after the service was launched.
The search giant released its notable numbers via its mobile blog the day after Facebook launched its new Places service which allows state-side iPhone users to share their location with friends, prompting commentators to question Google's motives.
Google has added Place Pages to find nearby services and Latitude to locate friends nearby in recent times, which together provide a similar service to Facebook Places, but lack the tagging people-centric element.
Presently missing social networking infrastructure, Google is tipped to build social functionality into its service and launch a major new offering dubbed Google Me to challenge Facebook, but currently it seems as if the social networking giant is encroaching on Google's space.
Interestingly, Venture Beat noted Vic Gundotra, Google's former head of mobile and now social networking chief authored the blog post, although it is pure speculation as to whether he is reminding people of Google's location achievements or hinting at the company's next step.
Some commentators believe Gundotta might be back in the mobile space as Google thinks it can catch up with Facebook in the social networking arena by targetting smartphones.
A report by Ofcom has confirmed the meteoric rise of the smartphone, with ownership soaring 81 percent from 7.2m users in May 2009 to 12.8m in May 2010, in Britain alone. In fact a quarter of Brits now own a smartphone, more than double the number two years ago. Furthermore, 13.5m Brits are now believed to have access to mobile internet.