Google Maps’ new community feed aims to keep you in the loop

Google Maps is getting more social.

Don’t worry, it hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon by becoming the latest app to launch a version of Snapchat Stories (though we can’t say it never will), but instead, it’s added what it’s calling a “community feed” to help surface useful tidbits for your local area.

According to Google, every single day, people submit more than 20 million snippets of information to Maps. That’s a staggering amount of content, though of course it’s spread around the world rather than specific to your own neighborhood (that would be beyond staggering). Such contributions can include everything from favorite spots and fresh reviews to new photos and business updates.

Located in Google Maps’ Explore tab, the new community feed brings together all the best information for your local area — or wherever you happen to be when you open the app — so you can scroll through to see what’s happening. While much of the content already exists on Maps, this is the first time for it to be organized in this way, resulting in easier access to the latest information relevant to your immediate location.

“The feed shows you the latest reviews, photos, and posts added to Google Maps by local experts and people you follow, as well as food and drink merchants, and articles from publishers like The Infatuation [restaurant recommendation website],” Maps product manager Capella Yee wrote in a post introducing the new feature.

The community feed also includes information that’s tailored to your selected interests. So if you marked an interest in healthy food or a particular type of cuisine in your Google Maps food and drink preferences, you’ll see relevant recommendations, photos, and business posts in your feed.

Recent testing of the community feed has evidently been going well as Yee pointed out that posts from businesses were viewed twice as much as before the feed’s existence, “so now more people can see if a local business is offering a new service, has a limited-time specialty, or opened outdoor seating.”

Google Maps’ new community feed is rolling out globally right now for everyone on Android and iOS.

Looking to get more from Google Maps? Digital Trends has a recently updated rundown of some of its best features and how to use them.

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