Google Maps Goes Social with Local Guides Feature

Google Maps isn’t just a road maps anymore.

It has worn a role of a navigation app suggesting which meals should you try where, foretells public transit crowds, and most importantly, helps in translating names of foreign places.

All-in-all, it can help you with your next adventure – and, credit goes to Local Guides.

Are you wondering – What are Local Guides by Google?

Google launched Local Guides Program in 2015 with anticipation of taking on Yelp Elites by allowing the most active Maps contributors and as a result they are given status of ‘Tastemakers’ in their own hometowns.

In fact, Guides are in-depth business reviews with photos to help Google Maps users find and learn about any area or a location.

If you’re a contributor, this program enables you to contribute you to Google Maps greatly – add reviews and photos, upload videos, correct information and that too in exchange for perks and benefits.

This pilot program will let Google Maps users to follow top Local Guides in selected niches just by clicking a new “Follow” button on these users’ (Tastemakers) profile pages. This way, the Guides’ recommendation will pop up every time while you’re using Google Maps. Likewise, a new tab has also been added named “For You” in the app which works to find area recommendation from the Local Guides.

At the moment, Google is piloting this program in a few major cities across the globe i.e. Delhi, New York, Tokyo, São Paulo, Mexico City, London, Bangkok, Osaka, and San Francisco. Hopefully, if it goes well; it will expand to other markets as well.

A big caution with Local Guides is that they should be a good source for business information. But, in reality, all the crowded information is from regular people, instead of professional reviewers or critics. It means that quality of the Local Guides reviews can be Hit-Or-Miss. On the other hand, Google looks highly concerned with Local Guides to be highly engaging in big quantity forgetting quality and review accuracy.

The new recommendation feature is about to be tested in places where pilot program is being run (London, San Francisco, etc.) It will focus more on photos instead of words. That’s why; on the ‘For You’ tab of Google Maps, their recommendation would be displayed as Photo Collages- It will give you more of an Instagram-like feel right on the Google Maps.

In the end, Local Guides are the people. They can tell you how may you experience a new place. And how that’s going to be valuable for you. In Local Guides, you will find everything from photos, reviews to everything to help you make your journey stress-free and time-saving.

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