Google Maps for iOS will now allow users to track their favorite businesses directly in the app, the company announced today. This feature, which positions the platform as a challenger of Facebook pages, allows users to track news and updates from a company, such as their sales, promotions, or events, through of a new tab "For you" in the mobile application.
The feature was previously available on Android.
Last fall, Google enthusiastically launched the "Follow" feature of Google Maps on Android, beyond a brief blog post about the launch. But the importance of functionality should not be underestimated. Google Maps is one of the most used apps in the world with over a billion users. Over the years, he has regularly expanded his functionality beyond looking for places and navigation to become a tool for finding new businesses, finding restaurants and shops, reading reviews, browsing photos and more.
Now, Google offers businesses a way to communicate directly with their customers, much like Facebook does today.
With a new My Business app, also launched last fall, business owners can post content updates to their business profile on Google. These are the same types of updates that previously would have been published exclusively on social media – like the dates of a big sales event or a grand opening, for example.
Businesses can also use the My Business app to track their reviews and respond to messages from Google Maps users centrally.
However, before today, the ability for Google Maps users to track updates from their favorite businesses was only available on Android. From now on, iOS users can also participate.
Starting this week, Google launches an update of the Google Maps application. Now iOS users can search for a location (restaurant, store, etc.), and then click the "Follow" button to follow the news of the location in the "For you" tab.
On the other hand, businesses will now be able to see all their customers, not just those who use Android devices.
The Follow button is being deployed today, but versions that reach this user base take a long time. You can not see the changes immediately, but should soon.