Google Maps launched its news summary in order to compete with Facebook, and the new feature bears the name “Community Feed”, because it includes posts from a local area.
The posts are organized like any other news feed, in that it’s a vertically scrollable feed with posts that you can like by clicking the like icon.
The feature, located under the “Explore” tab in the app, collects the latest comments, photos, and posts sent to Google Maps from local experts, in addition to people you know.
The feed is designed to make it easy to find the latest news, updates and recommendations from trusted local sources.
Google says: The focus at the launch will be on highlighting posts from food and beverage companies.
In addition, if you follow a nearby store or restaurant, you will receive updates from them through the feed, and according to Google, the feature helped local businesses communicate better with their customers.
The company said: We saw in the early test of the community feed that posts from merchants saw more than double the number of views than they were before the feed was available.
“More people can now know that a local business is offering a new service, or has open-air seating,” she added.
Much of the information in the feed was available elsewhere in Google Maps prior to today’s launch.
The “Google Map Updates” tab provided a similar feed that includes business posts with news, recommendations, stories and other features designed to encourage discovery.
The “Explore” tab grouped businesses into groups, such as outdoor dining, at the top of the screen, and allowed users to browse other menus and view photos of the area.
Google may consider adding video posts in the future, given the current popularity of short video feeds such as TikTok, which was copied by Instagram and Snapchat.
Google hopes the change will encourage users to visit the app more often to see what’s happening in their area, whether it’s a new post from a company or a review from another user detailing some fun local activities.
The feature can be used when traveling or searching in other areas as well, as the community feed you see does not depend on where you live or your current location, but rather on the basis of where you are searching on the map.