Google is one of the few companies that does not hesitate to bundle their services, often integrating them quite deeply with each other. Just take a look at 'Google Lens' as part of Google Chrome, Google Meet as part of Gmail or 'Google Translator' as part of the Assistant. In general, there is nothing unusual about this. Both that, and another, and the third, in principle, represent a completely adequate combination. But Google, in its usual manner, decided to go further and turn Google Maps into a kind of social network.
Google Maps is turning into a social network, but that's not bad at all
Google released an update to Google Maps for Android, which turned everyone's familiar map service into something like a social network. Now there are profile pages, the ability to post photos, exchange messages and subscribe. Indeed, Google Maps users have previously been able to upload photos of places, dishes and attractions that they have filmed themselves, and establishments had their own profiles with contact information. But now ordinary users – local experts – will be able to create profiles and share photos.
Who are Google Experts
This is how a profile on Google Maps looks like
Local experts on Google Maps are an active category of users who rate the places they've visited, provide reviews, share photos, answer questions from other users, and fix bugs. For this, Google endows them with points, badges, and thereby allows them to increase their levels. The higher the level and the more awards, the higher the authority of the expert. They are the ones who receive all the innovations that are distributed as part of fresh updates, in the first place. For example, AR navigation mode became available to them earlier than others.
Externally, the design of an expert profile in Google Maps is very similar to that in Instagram. There is a user icon, a 'Subscribe' button, columns with the number of followers, subscribers and those to whom the expert is subscribed. Below you can leave a description, as well as note the preferences in institutions and the direction in which the expert works. For example, evaluating food, making adjustments to restaurant descriptions, etc. And the main part of the page is made up of photos – just like in Instagtam.
Why do we need profiles in Google Maps
You can subscribe to the profile and track the activity of its author
If you are already a local expert, you can restrict users from accessing your page. That is, in this sense, Google Maps is no different from Instagram. Here, as there, you must first apply for a subscription, which the profile author can approve or reject at his own discretion. As a result, even in such seemingly open conditions, you can maintain confidentiality, or at least some kind of secret, while keeping the places you visited secret.
Why do you need all this? Well, obviously, first of all, Google expects to increase the influence of Google Maps by luring new users. After all, in fact, before Google, no one turned a map service into a social network. Secondly, this is a really useful upgrade that will allow you to follow the local city guides. Thus, for example, you can not only get to know better an unfamiliar city, but also your own. After all, although I live in Saransk, I still do not know about all the establishments. Needless to say about Muscovites, who may have dozens of establishments close by that they have not been to.