Google has quietly been making check-ins more prominent on its services. The search giant has quietly introduced Leaderboard, a new feature that enables members to earn points for checking in to a location through Google Latitude.

Google Latitude is a location-based mobile app that allows individuals to see certain people in their current location. Last week the company launched an updated version of Google Maps for Android and included the new feature.

Leaderboard is only accessible after an individual checks in somewhere using Latitude. After check-in, he or she earns points and is brought to the Leaderboard page, which ranks the consumer and his or her Google+ friends.

There is also a global Leaderboard that ranks all users based on points from check-ins. The person with the most points will receive a crown — unlike Foursquare, which provides a person with a mayor status.

Although the company hasn’t officially launched a competition against Foursquare, we can’t help but notice the similarities. Unless Google plans to reward people with a crown, Foursquare may still have the upper hand when it comes to brand involvement.

Currently not everyone has access to Leaderboard. Google hasn’t shared more information about when the feature will be made available to everyone.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: Choko]