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Google Maps will let you chat with businesses

Earlier today, 9to5Google pointed us to a blog post from Google announcing a new feature for Google Maps: messaging businesses.…

Earlier today, 9to5Google pointed us to a blog post from Google announcing a new feature for Google Maps: messaging businesses. Når det ruller ut til iPhone og Android-brugere, vil det være en ny “meldinger” -knapp på venstre side, som lar deg beskrive de bedrifter du finner i Google Maps.

A business that wants to participate will need to use Google’s “My Business” verification system and its associated app to send and receive messages. That app was just overhauled, as Adweek notes – making it more of a one-stop shop for small businesses to update their information for Google and to chat with customers.

I’m just going to tell you right now that I have several conflicting feelings about this new feature and we are going to explore them together.

First: this seems like a genuinely useful feature. Mer enn en gang Jeg har nettopp ønsket at spørre om et forretningsmøde eller en restaurant, der ikke er dækket af deres hjemmeside, og ville være villige til at vente på svaret. I’ve spent the past few days listening to a colleague about at Curbed call up local businesses one by one to find out if they still have respirators in stock in the wake of the wildfires here in Northern California, for example . Texting could theoretically be more convenient for everybody involved. It’s a little less interruptive for the big employee, simpler for the customer. Net: nice.


But second, we’ll make the easy joke that Google can not seem to stop launching new messaging platforms while its primary messaging platform strategy is still a mess? Yes, yes we will. Hangouts is dead for consumers and Allo is paused and RCS Chat still has not started here in the US across all major carriers. Neither AT & T nor Verizon will commit to a launch date. (I asked them both this week.)

I bring up RCS not just for the cheap shot, but also because it’s a good example of how business messaging is rapidly becoming big business. Det er en del av planen for RCS Chat, den eksisterer i Facebook Messenger og iMessage, og det er en stor del av det eventuelle forretningsplan for WhatsApp. So it makes sense that Google would like to be in this space and, honestly, it makes sense to put it inside Maps instead of in another messaging app. As Google notes, it keeps your business chat messages separate from your personal messages.

So let’s leave messaging aside and give Google this one. Det kan ikke presse hårdere på forretningsmeldinger i Android-beskjeder, fordi det ikke kan utnytte RCS, fordi det styrt kontrollen av sitt meldingsplattform til de whims of its carrier-partnere. Putting business messaging inside Google Maps is a good solution in that context. Og allikevel, denne messagingfunktionen har allerede eksisteret, og nyhederne her er simpelthen at du kan komme til det inden for Google Maps.

Men det fører mig til min tredje følelse: Hvad er det med Google Maps? Det er overstyrt med så mange funksjoner og designendringer at det blir vanskeligere og vanskeligere å få bare veibeskrivelser i det. There’s Group Planning, there’s a social-esque “follow” button for local businesses, you can share your ETA there’s a redesigned “Explore” section, and there’s almost no way to get the damn thing to show you a cross street near your destination without three full minutes of desperate pinching and zooming and re-zooming.

It’s getting bloated, is what I’m saying. It’s Google’s equivalent of Big Blue, as Facebook nicknames its flagship app that does a thousand things across countless strange nooks and crannies. Det er som om Google ønsker å drepe af Yelp en gang for alle, men kan ikke lade nogen som helst notere hvor hardt det er å prøve å gjøre det så det bare forteller rollene til Google Maps i stedet.

Disse har vært mine følelser om Google Adding messaging functionality to Maps, which on the whole seems like a pretty good feature. Thank you for experiencing them with me.

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Faela