The “makeover” of Google Maps into being much more than just a navigation app continues! To help people who use the app to discover new places in their neighborhood or in an unfamiliar place, they are now allowing users to place hashtags in their reviews for easier discoverability. This means you’ll be able to search the app for things like #datenight, #familyfriendly, or whatever specific thing you’re looking for in a restaurant or place. This is just part of a series of improvements that Google has been making for Maps.
This change was actually rolled out a week ago on Android devices but it was only announced to the members of the Local Guides program, which is the group that posts a lot of reviews, photos, and answer questions on Google Maps anyway, in exchange for rewards from Google. They were urged to go back to their reviews and add hashtags so that they can better organize and make these places more discoverable.
You are only allowed to add five hashtags in each review and are encouraged to place them at the end so that the whole review will be more readable. Aside from categorizing restaurants, the hashtags will also let you tag local hotspots as #goodforselfies or has great #sunsetviews, has accessibility features like #wheelchairaccessible and so on and so forth. They have to be really specific in order to be of use to people, so things like #food is practically useless.
Google Maps is being positioned as a sort of competitor to Facebook Pages, especially if the brands are in the restaurant or retail business. Previously, they rolled out a Follow feature so you can track businesses that you like and be updated with their latest promos. The revamped My Business app also lets business owners easily update their Maps profile with new content.
If you’re searching for a place and want to use the hashtags, just tap on any of the blue links in the review and you’ll see a list of all nearby places that match the hashtag. This is now currently available only for Android devices.
VIA: Tech Crunch