- December 1, 2018
- Posted by: Sandeep Kumar
- Category: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google has rolled out with the new hashtag feature for the Android devices using Google Maps. It would help users to find out some important features about a place of interest.
Whenever you need to find a place and you feel stranded, there are a few options that you can try out. You could try asking around if that suits you. But what do you do if you are a little too introvert to ask someone for directions or maybe worse, do not speak the local tongue? Well, Google has already offered the solution – Google Maps. It is available on your desktop as well as smartphones. Both Android and iOS versions are available. It does not only help you to get directions but even locate the nearby facilities like movie theatres, restaurants, hospitals, banks, ATMs and everything else you might need.
How has Google Maps performed over the years?
According to the rating on Play Store, the app has a rating of 4.3 according to about 10 million people. A majority of the people find it very useful and it mostly would not suffer from tragic glitches. The location data that it offers is very useful. It even allows people to modify the map and add the different places. This is why Google Maps becomes more and more useful. The users with Google accounts can always modify the data available and correct it. After Google reviews them, this data is added or modified on the maps. This is what makes Google Maps very useful.
What is the new hype about the hashtags?
Google Maps has been known to sneak in the minor features every now and then. The latest feature that has been rolled out is aimed at helping the users to visit those places which are generally recommended by the other visitors for specific reasons – it would be supporting hashtags.
For instance, if you feel that a certain restaurant is really good for taking your date, you can add a #datenight tag. You can even add a #familyfriendly tag to denote that it is a family place. The places which are accessible by wheelchairs can be written as #wheelchairaccessible or some other appropriate hashtag. This feature would certainly prove quite useful.
It has been suggested by Google that a user would be able to add as many as 5 hashtags in a review. Google has also asked the users to place the hashtags at the end of the review so that it would be easier to read the text.
The global leader in technology has confirmed that this support for hashtags has rolled out just two weeks ago. It is now available on all the Android devices. It had so far only been announced to the Local Guides program of Google Maps. This program rewards the members for sharing photos, reviews and any knowledge and information about places and businesses. The guides have been notified that they could go back to their old reviews and add hashtags. They are also welcome to include them in their new ones.
How would the hashtags benefit the users?
The hashtags can be a very simple way of telling the people about a place of interest. For instance, when people are searching for restaurants on the basis of their dietary needs or cuisines, it could be very helpful.
A place which serves vegan food can be marked as #vegetarian. The hashtags could also highlight the local attractions by marking them #goodforselfies or mark a great place for #sunsetviews. Google has suggested that such hashtags would definitely help the users to make better choices. The tags can even talk about the accessibility features of the place, like the availability of a wheelchair ramp or an audio menu.
However, Google has mentioned that the hashtags need to be very specific. It cannot be quite like those on Instagram, Twitter or the other social apps. Vague and general terms like #food and #love would seriously be of no help at all.
Therefore, it would depend on the people who give the reviews to offer good hashtags, those that would help the people at first sight. This is one of the reasons why it was originally launched to the Local Guides program, who have already some experience in offering good reviews and mentioning the importance of a place.
Is the update good enough and be really helpful?
The feature is not that big of an update. It seems that the feature is quite minor and it is yet to be seen how effective it would turn out to be. But it has arrived at a time when Google Maps is being upgraded to actually be a challenge to the Pages platform of Facebook.
There had been an update for Maps in October where users could track businesses and get notifications about sales, deals, any recent news, events and much more. Google has now rolled out the revamped My Business app where business owners can easily update their profile page on Maps with new content. This would include news that they would like to share with their followers. They could even be using the app to view and respond to the reviews and even the messages.
With the addition of hashtags, Google Maps can become a much better and equipped discovery platform for business and the other places. It could even be a social recommendations platform. The Google Guides had been asked to use the hashtag #LetsGuide to point the users to personal recommendations of favourite places. However, it is yet to be seen to what extent they would be adopting the tag.
Google has said that the users would need to tap the blue link when such a hashtag is listed in the review. This would guide the user to other nearby places that have the same tag. This is how the hashtags feature can be used. However, no comments have yet been made by the company about the feature making its way to the web or iOS. Though the update has been a really cool one, it would depend much on the capacity of the reviewers to use proper and dedicated hashtags.