Google Maps Takes on Facebook Pages with In-App B2C Interaction



Google Maps is quietly making a bid to be the go-to communications hub for small business.

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For years, the go-to space for local business communication has been Facebook Pages, and the company boasts 65 million pages to that effect as a result. But Google Maps is starting to stake their claim on this parket, as evidenced by the latest features added to the Google My Business platform.

This month, a pair of new features were added to the platform that specifically enhances the Google Maps experience for local businesses. The first, Post, goes beyond allowing a business to upload photos or menus, to add time-sensitive promotional offers. According to Business Insider, “The new Post button enables all businesses to upload photos to their profiles and create special offers and events for consumers.” Previously, business owners had no way to offer promotional details into the app; now, prospective customers don’t have to navigate away from Google Maps to see these deals.

Another feature that users now won’t have to navigate away for, is new functionality for direct messaging between businesses and consumers. These conversations previously had to be held outside the app (and currently remains the case with Facebook Pages); it is Google’s hope that allowing these communications in-app will boost their standing in their already supremely popular product. 67% of mobile navigation app users count Google Maps as their go-to app, while Facebook Pages integrates with the less commonly utilized Apple Maps.

These aren’t the first moves Google Maps has made to create a more social experience in their app. This summer. The Explore tab was added to display top events in a user’s area, as well as restaurant rankings and recommendations. October saw the debut of the Follow function for Android, where users could opt to “follow” their favorite businesses in the app. Further, their recent integration with Spotify makes a connection to music on your commute seamless as well. The name of Google Maps’ current game is “seamless,” and time will tell how these adjustments help the app evolve into a seamlessly connective experience for businesses and users alike.

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