Google Maps to Use Social Media to Tailor User Experience

Posted in Apps & Software, Technology10 years ago • Written by MAKNo Comments

Have you ever been searching for something in a mapping application and found yourself needing to sort through dozens of irrelevant results to find the right one? If you’re looking for the best Italian place around, your friends might have the inside scoop, but you can’t really call them all up fifteen minutes before you take your date out for the first time.

Google Maps to Use Social Media

Social media is the new path for many applications online, and Google Maps is changing soon to incorporate social media signals and highlights. Users can look at restaurant recommendations from their friends at first in this trial version, but once it’s fully live, you’ll be able to see the places that are popular with other people. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming Google Maps changes.

Convenience comes first.
No longer are you tied to your computer or squinting at social media profiles while you’re searching for reviews and recommendations. If you have slow Internet at home, you can switch to your phone and just navigate while you’re out and on the go.

Google Plus is providing data.
Google is drawing data from people’s friends on Google Plus (also known as Google+) to share on their Maps application. This means that your friends’ opinions that are shared on Google Plus may impact where you decide to go. Of course, there is always the possibility that they will draw data from other social networks in the future, but they’re sticking to their own data for now since their privacy policy is solid.

Filter bubble effects are a risk.
If you’re considering going out to eat and your friends all recommend one restaurant, are you less likely to visit a restaurant out of the blue? Many experts are concerned that this is the case. It could result in ghettoization and underexposure for deserving restaurants that just haven’t had many visitors. It will certainly mean that social media-conscious restaurants and businesses are at an advantage.

Personalization could be a good thing.
The risk of the filter bubble is mitigated somewhat when you consider that it could be a good thing. For example, if you and your friends are single and want to party downtown in New York, your recommendations will be different from a young family going sightseeing in the Big Apple. This will allow Google Maps to show you things you’re really more interested in.

Google can create billboards.
Soon, Google will be able to analyze reviews and recommendations and people’s navigation patterns in order to decide which restaurants or attractions are the hottest or rising stars. Like music, there could be local billboards or competitions in each city to get to the top of the rankings if Google takes action on this data.

These social changes to Google Maps make it easier to navigate with your friends’ reviews and recommendations in your pocket. The potential downside is the concern with privacy and the filter bubble effect, but if you’re willing to risk these negative factors, you will soon be able to take advantage of the new, improved Google Maps.


Zoe Fenner has a passion for the fast paced world of social media. She frequently writes about her findings on social media marketing blogs. Click to know more about Zoe.

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