Google has long battled Yelp to be your go-to place for restaurant and business recommendations, but it just doesn’t have as large a community of reviewers as Yelp. The search company is aiming to fix that with a Maps update introducing a new Local Guides feature.
Users with 5+ reviews can arrange meetups and gain access to try out new Google products before relese. Once you cross 50 reviews, your submissions will be highlighted in the Maps app with a special badge, and you’ll gain access to exclusive events. At 200+ reviews, you could be featured on Google’s official social media accounts, as well as receive an annual thank you gift from the company.
Yelp, of course, offers its own similar program known as Elite Squad, but it’s more exclusive than Google’s offering – reviewers need to submit an application and are selected on a case-by-case basis. This helps assure high-quality reviews, but the openness of Google’s take makes sense given its primary goal is increasing the number of people writing reviews.
You can download the latest version of Maps with Local Guides on Android and iOS now.