Google Maps is making it easier for businesses to leverage user-generated content by allowing users to create helpful content within the app.
The first update allows users to share their experience with a particular business through photos in Google Maps. Previously, users could only do this when leaving a review. The goal is to make it easier for users to share and find local business recommendations and treat Maps as more of a casual, social platform.
“With all the change our world saw over the past year, people are relying more than ever on high-quality, updated information about the places around them — like if a nearby restaurant is open or if a local grocery store has updated hours,” said Kevin Reese, Google Maps’ Director of Product in a recent blog post.
“To make sure your map reflects the real world, we make it easy for anyone with a Google account to contribute their local knowledge about more than 200 million places in Google Maps. These community-led updates help people everywhere make better decisions about what to do and where to go.”
The photo update option is essentially just a photo uploaded to Google Maps with a short description.
Users can add a photo update by finding a certain location in Maps and clicking the Updates tab. There, they can click on “Add a photo update” and upload as many photos as they please.
Google Maps Community Challenge
Google is also launching a new community challenge pilot that will encourage users to contribute reviews, photos, and updates to the Google Maps platform. The goal is to update over 100,000 business profiles in just one month.
Users can participate by going to the Contribute tab and clicking “Join the Local Love challenge.”