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Google Wants To Have Your Cake And Share It


Google looks hungry to tap into the world of photo sharing as a new feature on Google maps prompts you to share your dinner with the rest of the world. 

It seems what was a common frustration to the world of hospitality, is now fast becoming a fad that everybody wants in on. Most of us are guilty of snapping a shot of our food to share with our friends – and now Google is experimenting in a new feature for the Maps that will notify you to upload these to share with other users. For the time being the feature is only being rolled out to high-ranking members of the Google Maps “Local Guides” community – level 3 users and above. A Google Help page describes the feature:

These notifications show up after you’ve taken a photo in public places that Google thinks are interesting to other people, like restaurants and bars. To get these notifications, you need location history turned on.”

The fact that location history needs to be enabled suggests that the Maps app is using GPS lookup to identify place information in photos. This will trigger a notification that will allow the users to post their photo publicly on Maps.

It is currently unclear to what extent this feature will be rolled out to other users but it certainly seems like the data giant has noticed the amount of food photography overtaking services like Pinterest and Instagram, and so this may be an attempt to harness this data to formulate consumer trends. How this will be used for Google itself is unknown, but it is clear that they are trying to tap into the world of promoting local restaurants and bars nearby and its great to see this extra layer of integration across their apps.

Although Google has made other attempts to gain more places data from users, such as asking them to rate places through cards, this will be the first time that such a direct form of data acquisition has be undertaken. Only time will tell whether Google Maps becomes the go-to place for searching for local features and amenities.

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