Google Maps has a new 'community feed', which looks a lot like Yelp or TripAdvisor on steroids
Google Mapsis rolling out a new feature called ‘community feed’ globally for all users.
- It functions like
- The Alphabet subsidiary hopes that this new feature will encourage users to visit the app more often in order to find out what’s happening in their area.
While it makes sense to have such a feature on Google Maps, a cursory glance shows that in addition to making Google more like Facebook — the feature is akin to having Yelp or TripAdvisor integrated with your directions.
What makes it even more like those services is the fact that the feed will highlight posts from food and drink businesses, according to Google. It also takes Google Maps well beyond the ambit of simple navigation.
“The community feed brings together helpful local information and tailors it to your selected interests,” writes Capella Yee, the product manager for Google Maps. So, if a user has marked Punjabi cuisine as an interest in their food and drink preferences, then they will see more photos and businesses posts for that type of food.
Why is it like Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor?
In the days of yore, even before Facebook was a thing, TripAdvisor and Yelp are how people used to track businesses in their local area. While TripAdvisor was catering to travellers going to new places, Yelp was hyper-local.
Both allow users to review businesses and businesses can post their updates as well — just like on Google’s community feed.
The only difference is that Google Maps can pinpoint your location so that you don’t have to search manually, and curates the feed according to the preferences you’ve disclosed — hopefully with informed consent.
The feed itself is structured a lot like the
The Alphabet subsidiary claims that it receives more than 20 million reviews, rating, photos, updates and other contributions everyday. The ‘community feed’ serves as a place where these inputs can be highlighted.
“In early testing of the community feed, we saw that posts from merchants are seen two times more than before the feed existed. So now more people can see if a local business is offering a new service, has a limited time speciality or opened outdoor seating,” wrote Yee.
The company hopes its new feature will encourage users to visit the app more often in order to find out what’s happening in their area.
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