Google Maps Adds Business Messaging Feature

Google recently issued an update to its Google Maps app that allows users to message businesses.

The tech company introduced the business messaging feature as a way for people to quickly and conveniently communicate with restaurants and shops. Messages could allow maps users to make sure a cake they ordered is ready to be picked up or to see if a shoe store has a particular size in stock.

The feature is simple to use. If a business has activated messaging, a chat icon will appear on its Google Maps profile. Users can tap the icon to open a dialogue box through which they can message with the business., Google Maps users can access their message inbox by pressing the menu button and selecting “messages.” There, they can read received messages or continue a dialogue.

Last year, Google introduced a similar feature to its search engine that lets users message businesses through their Google Business Profiles (which appear in a user’s search results). The introduction of messaging to the Google Maps app extends that feature.

Not all shops will have messaging, however. Businesses must opt into the feature by downloading the Google My Business app. This means that Google Maps users won’t immediately be able to communicate with all of the businesses they frequent.

The new messaging feature may be a response by Google to changing consumer preferences. In an August article on Facebook’s messaging platform, Forbes reported that a majority (56 percent) of consumers prefer communicating with businesses by messaging (rather than through a phone call).

The new messaging feature is just one of a handful of new features Google has recently added to the Google Maps app. In October, the tech giant revealed a commute planning function and in-app music streaming capabilities.


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