In 2017, Google rolled out a new feature that let users in a few regions to message businesses from Business Profiles on Google. Now, the same feature is coming to Google Maps. Users will now be able to see their messages with the businesses they connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app. Messaging to businesses mean, for instance, that you can directly contact a store or a restaurant to clear a query or book a table. Additionally, Google is also rolling out a number of updates to its Google My Business app, which businesses use to manage their online information as it appears in Google Search and Maps.
Google has started rolling out the new messaging feature to Google Maps. If you have received it, you will be able to chat with local businesses, as long as they have enabled messages. You can do this via the Message button now rolling out to Google Maps for Android and iOS. Besides, the app also gets an inbox view that has all your conversations. Meanwhile, enterprises that have a Business Profile with Google will come with a new Message button within their listing. Notably, the feature will not be limited to select countries as it is rolling out to users globally.
"Sending messages to businesses gives you the opportunity to ask questions without having to make a phone call so that you can order a cake for your mom's birthday while on the bus or find out if a shoe store has your size without having to wait on hold," Aditya Tendulkar, Product Manager at Google, says in a blog post.
Also, Google has launched a newly revamped Google My Business app, which businesses that want to accept messaged from users can install via Google Play or the App Store. The company says that the latest version of the app makes it "easier for businesses to stay in touch with their customers in real-time and on the go."
In the Google My Business app (v3.0), users get a new Post button to add posts and photos to their Business Profiles; and a Profile tab to review their Business Profile info, photos, and posts in one place. There is a new Customers tab to connect with customers on Google, a Messaging tab to respond to messages within the app, and a Followers tab to see and post of your followers.
Curtis Galloway, Engineering Manager, Google My Business, writes in a blog post, "We're proud to have built an easy-to-use, free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, so they can grow their business and spend more of their time doing what they do best—running it."
The latest changes come just a few days after a recent update to Google Maps that introduced a new Follow button that keeps users updated on the news, events, and other updates from certain businesses. The app also got the ability to list businesses before launch and show you their opening dates.