Google Maps is getting a little better for businesses. Just last year, Google began rolling out a feature that allowed users to message business straight through their Google accounts. Now, Google is bringing the feature to Google Maps.
To message a business through Google Maps, all you have to do is tap on the menu button, then hit the “Messages” button — and you’ll be able to see messages with businesses without leaving the Maps app. Of course, not all businesses will participate in the new feature — and those that do will need to head to the Google “My Business” verification system and app, sign up to send and receive messages, and accept messages as they roll in. The goal, Google says, is to help businesses “stay in touch with their customers in real time and on the go.”
This isn’t the first messaging service from Google in recent times. Nor is it the second, third, or fourth. In the past few years, Google has launched services like Allo and Hangouts, both of which have evolved in terms of functionality and targeting. Thankfully, however, this new feature doesn’t come in the form of a new app that users need to download and install — it’s simply built into Google Maps, so users will already have the feature if they want it.
Of course, this also isn’t the only new feature Google has brought to Google Maps in recent times. In fact, Google has been pushing tons of new features to Maps — to the point where you could argue that it’s getting a little bloated. These days, you can do things like follow local businesses, share your ETA, “explore” businesses in your area, and more. Now, many may find those new features very helpful — but those who don’t may feel like the interface is a little cluttered.
The update is rolling out to Google Maps on Android and iOS, so if you don’t see it yet you may need to update the app — or wait until Google has pushed the updated version to your device. Google says it will be rolling the feature out to countries beyond the U.S. as time goes on.
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