Now you can chat with local businesses using Google MapsSutrishna Ghosh
The messaging functionality – slated simply as “Messages” in the menu on Google Maps – is not for exchanging messages with friends and family. Instead, it looks like a feature designed to contact nearby businesses.
While navigating on Google Maps, ever wondered when a nearby store will open up or simply wanted to chat with local businesses for information and avoid the hassle of calling them up? Now, users can exchange text messages with businesses on the popular navigation app.
The messaging functionality – slated simply as “Messages” in the menu - seems to be a brand new addition on Google Maps. The feature was initially announced on Google's official blog in November last year. This is an extension of the company's Business Profile feature, which already allowed users to connect with businesses on their pages.
"Now you’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app, where you’re already looking for things to do and places to go or shop. You’ll find these messages in the side menu of both Google Maps for Android and iOS."
And just in case you were worried about the cons of yet another instant messaging service – there are way too many chat services/apps already – this feature is not for exchanging messages with your friends and family. Instead, it looks like a feature solely designed to contact nearby businesses.
In addition, this new messaging service on Google Maps appears to be available to a select few users at the moment say reports. The use of this feature is also dependent on the business and whether or not they enable the chat option. While most media reports have mentioned the new option on the navigation app, there aren’t any screenshot online of users actually interacting via this instant messaging option.
It looks like this is yet another addition as Google thrives towards making its Maps even better and convenient for the billion-plus users who have already downloaded the app. Before this, the online search giant had added an auto-rickshaw mode on Google Maps for routes and fare estimation. And in the future, there are plans to roll out a feature for reporting incidents in order to improve the navigation experience.