The latest update to Google Maps encourages users to post helpful information about businesses — and eliminates the dreaded task of having to call for information. The company announced it’s launching a new feature to Google Maps for Android and mobile Search. Soon, you’ll be able to ask questions and read answers about particular places you’re headed to or interested in.
When normally searching for a restaurant or store on Google Maps or Search, you’re provided with a ton of user-generated content ranging from the star ratings to reviews. Now, when you open a local business listing, it will have a “Questions & Answers” section to scroll down to as well. This is where you can post your own questions, answer someone else’s, or read through the already existing posts.
Since anyone on Google can post inquiries and answers under a listing, it can result in a sea of questions with conflicting answers. To address this, the new feature includes the option to upvote informative content by tapping on the thumbs-up icon, which will push user-favored content up toward the top of the section. That way, you won’t have to search through an endless thread of confusing input from different users.
Businesses can also add their own frequently asked questions along with other facts that could be useful to the customer. The owners and any knowledgeable users are notified whenever someone asks a question and you’ll receive a notification once they answer. For users, this feature allows them easy access to information with one quick search but it can also strengthen the relationship businesses have with customers.
This isn’t the first update Google Maps users have seen recently. In July, the app added a travel-related feature that shows you estimated travel times based on when you leave for your planned trip. By typing in your destination, the app gives you a bar graph listing the busiest hours along with the fastest routes and parking tips.
Prior to that, Google Maps also added transit services for anyone living in big cities. Rather than using third-party apps — or an old-school paper map — the update gives you outlines for platforms, entrances, and other helpful information about subways.
Even though the latest updates to Google Maps and the search tool are ones we can find on other apps, it’s clear Google is aiming to be the only resource we could ever possibly need. With the new Q&A update, the company makes it known it wants to help you make quick and easy decisions while discovering what’s available around you. The feature will be rolling out to Android and mobile search users worldwide.