Google Maps has announced that it’s rolling out another major improvement to its platform: soon, users will be able to post photo updates with a single line of text, with the help of a new button that will appear under the Updates tab.
The new feature will let users explore places more closely through Google Maps based on user-added images, emphasizing these over textual information to offer greater detail of an area in Google Maps.
Last year, the Mountain View-based search giant ushered in more social features by introducing a feedback-based system under the Explore tab that keeps users aware of what’s happening in their locality.
The new update squarely aims at social users, as Google looks to enhance crowdsourced information, and create a more participatory app experience.
- Oppo wants to upstage its rivals – and it's winning
- This Google Maps game lets you send real Easter eggs to your friends
Google Maps clearly believes that an image is better at portraying what that restaurant, bar, or shopping center looks like before you make the journey – and, we’d agree.
Add to that the smaller screen real estate of the devices from our best phones, best Android phones, even best Android phones, images are a whole lot easier to view than streams of text when quickly scouting out an area on Google Maps.
Google is splitting the shared content into that generated by users and that added by owners: posts are shared in a similar feed, prioritizing images over text for all the navigational eye-candy you could ever need.
For now, it's clear that Google is gearing up to make the app a more popular place for users to spend time, and less just a quick drop-in to check you're on the right road.
Seeing as Google Maps already has a large community, it probably feels that in its current state the userbase is still an untapped reservoir for making the app as user-friendly as possible through the users themselves.
Google Maps, of course, has been around for a long time, amassing plenty of features along the way, like the ability to correct missing roads in real-time and a clever split-screen view feature. Some of these new features have been added in the name of increasing the user experience, and some in response to threats from rivals, such as Huawei's Petal Maps app.