Such are these tumultuous times, our local towns and cities are seeing big changes. Whether it’s businesses unfortunately succumbing to lockdowns, others changing their hours, or new ventures popping up, it can be difficult to keep track.
As such, Google has revealed a new community feed for Google Maps, which will alert users to changes like whether restaurants are offering outdoor dining, parks are open, or that local brewery is doing crowler pick-ups.
Google says the new feed, which sits within the Explore tab, will make it easier to find new updates and recommendations from trusted local sources.
In a blog post, Google writes: “Every day, you can come to your feed to see what’s happening in your area. Wondering if your favourite Mexican restaurant has added a new dish to the menu? If you follow them on Maps, you’ll get their updates in your feed.
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“Looking for a new nearby hike or a popular day trip near your city? Browse the feed for top recommendations of things to do from Google Maps users in that area. By panning and zooming the map, you can find helpful information for almost any location in the world, thanks to contributions from in-the-know locals.”
Google is also tailoring this section to interests previously specified by users, so it should be pretty useful all around.
Google doesn’t mention the pandemic directly, but it would stand to reason this is why it has developed the tab. With small businesses struggling to stay afloat throughout the crisis, all of the extra visibility can only help. With a public much more conscious about assisting their local favourites – to ensure they’re still there to enjoy when ‘this is all over’ – it should sit well with everyone.
The new community feed is rolling out on Android and iOS everywhere.