This holiday season, Google is giving us some early gifts. Want to know what these presents are? Well, these surprises are no other than the all new features added on Google Maps!
That’s right, Google Maps is going to be more than just maps with the ‘back-to-back-to-back-to-back’ updates revealed by Google on December 1, 2 and 3 this year.
A new community feed, messaging capabilities on Maps and Search, updated performance insights, and an easier way to collect and put your own Street View imagery on Google Maps are the updates announced by Google.
The Latest Google Maps Updates
People submit over 20 million contributions each day on the Map. This may be recommendations of their favorite places, updates to business services, reviews or ratings, photos, or even answers to questions asked by other Google Maps users.
Thus, if there is anyone of any thing who or which can keep you posted about the places you have already been or yet to visit, it’s Google Maps.
The Google Maps Community Feed
Introduced by Capella Yee, the Product Manager of Google Maps, on December 1, 2020, the community feed as they call it is a new feature that makes it easier for the users to find updates and recommendations from trusted local sources.
The feed shows the latest reviews, photos or any updates added to the Maps by local experts and the people you follow. Just like other platforms with this kind of feature, you may follow those people who you would like to get updates from to see their content on your feed.
Moreover, according to Yee, this new feature also helps connect businesses with customers.
“What makes Google Maps such a great tool to navigate and explore is the community of people, from our passionate Local Guides to nearby business owners.”– Capella Yee, Product Manager, Google Maps
Messaging Capabilities on Maps and Search
Literally just a day after the new update was announced, Google has dropped another big announcement. On December 2, 2020, the messaging capabilities on Google Maps and Search was introduced.
“Starting today, we’re rolling out the ability for verified businesses to message with customers directly from the Google Maps app,” stated Aditya Tendulkar, Product Manager.
How does it work? You may let you customers to get in touch with you in real-time from your Business Profile by turning on messaging.
Once messaging is turned on, those who will visit your Business Profile will be able to find a “Message” button. Turning on messaging also enables you to reply to your customers.
Updated Performance Insights
On the same day the messaging capabilities on Maps and Search was unveiled, an updated performance insights was also revealed.
Beginning this month, more metrics going to rolled out. “Soon you’ll see a more detailed list of the search queries customers used to find your business on Google,” said Tendulkar.
So if you are wondering on how your customers found your business profile, bet it won’t be long before you find the answer.
Anyone can Now Create their Own Connected Street View Photos
Announced on December 3, 2020, Google has updated the Street View app on Android, making it easier for the users to collect and put their own Street View imagery on the Maps.
“Using our new connected photos tool in the app, you can record a series of connected images as you move down a street or path,” explained Stafford Marquardt, the Product Manager of Street View.
Typically, a special 360-degree cameras or some thousands of dollars equipment are needed to capture and publish Street View imagery, but with the new feature anyone can create their own connected Street View photos with just a smartphone.
Once your images have been published via the Street View app, a series of connected photos will automatically be created and placed in the right place on the Maps.