Google Maps Update Adds Social Profiles & Community Updates

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When people think of social media, Google Maps doesn’t tend to get mentioned. However, Maps is now more social than ever, with new profiles rolled out worldwide.

What’s the new Google Maps update about?

Maps now has user profiles which features all the reviews and photos they have submitted to the platform.

Last year Google introduced Local Guides, which were individuals you could follow to get updates. Now Google has rolled this out to all users around the globe.

In the profiles, you can filter by topics which show which Maps listings the users share most frequently. The profiles are not dissimilar-looking from Instagram profiles. There is a profile photo, a follow button, photos, along with a short bio field.

If you have shared a public review or photo, then you will have a Maps profile. All users have the ability to publically show or hide what they have shared on Google Maps. There is also the ability to make a profile private, similar again to Instagram, whereby followers need to be approved before they can see the content.

Google has said:

Today we’re expanding this feature and beginning to roll it out globally. If a Google Maps user has shared photos, reviews or lists publicly, you can now follow them and get their recommendations, advice and updates delivered to your Updates tab in Google Maps. So the next time you find someone sharing helpful photos of takeout menus, handy lists of your city’s most spacious parks or inspiring photos of local shops and services, you can keep up-to-date on all of their recommendations. 

Why does this matter?

This may not impact many businesses, but in certain industries, reviews matter considerably. And for particular industries, Google Maps listings can make a big difference to the number of people that come through the door or get in touch.

The fact that Maps is becoming more social means it may be taken more seriously, and people may share more photos and reviews on the platform. Which could make the platform all the more important for discovering and finding new places to visit, or businesses to support.

Not only that, but the new profiles means that if someone has a good standing on the platform as a “local expert” of sorts, then their recommendations and uploads may be critical to businesses. A positive review from a “popular” Google Maps user (or perhaps, influencer) may mean extra business. On the flip side, negative reviews may stand out more. Google puts it this way:

It’s people’s personal recommendations and access to reliable, local information that make Google Maps a helpful tool in your pocket. Now all of that is easier to find and follow.