Generally, you use Google Maps to find the fastest route home or move to a new neighborhood, but the search giant is hoping to expand the way you use its app.
There is a new feature in Google Maps – a community feed. It’s analogous to your Facebook or Instagram feed of information, except it’s designed to let you know what’s going on in your area, with the information provided by locals. Google has slowly transformed its Maps product into a social platform that includes a navigation tool.
It includes local spot recommendations, commentary from local Google guides, and photos of your favorite dishes. When you follow your local businesses on Maps, you now receive updates directly from them, such as new delivery and take-out options.
You will find the new community feed in the “Explore” tab of Google Maps, and you can adapt it to your interests. If you’ve followed a few vegetarian restaurants, or have shown an interest in Italian cuisine, then Maps will show you more of these recommendations.
However, you will be able to use this new feature for purposes other than your local area. If you’re looking for something new, you’ll be able to roam the map and find information for just about anywhere in the world – at least that’s what Google has set out for itself.
Most of this information was already available on Google Maps in one way or another, but certain aspects have become particularly useful in recent months: companies were able to post updates on their new opening hours or let their customers know that they have switched to online sales.
But, this information was only available if you looked at the profile of the company in question – now it can appear in one place, and a profile can be created especially for you. In a statement on his blog, a Google spokesperson said that during the initial testing of the new feature, “ we found that merchant posts are seen twice as much as before the feed existed .”
The new feature is being rolled out to all smartphones equipped with iOS or Android.