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Google Maps biz reviews can now include hashtags

Google Maps biz reviews can now include hashtags

Google Maps has quietly rolled out a new feature aimed at helping users discover places others have recommended: it now supports hashtags in reviews. For example, if you’re reviewing a restaurant that would make an excellent #datenight spot, you can simply add the appropriate hashtag. Or if the business is #familyfriendly or #wheelchairaccessible, you can note those sorts of things, too.

Google suggests that users add up to five hashtags per review, and place them at the end of the review to make the text easier to read.

With the addition of hashtags in reviews, Google Maps could become a better discovery platform for businesses and other places, and possibly even a social recommendations platform. Google Guides were told to use the hashtag #LetsGuide to point users to their own personal recommendations of favorite places. To what extent they’ll adopt that tag, of course, still remains to be seen.

This feature seems interesting and highlights the potential discovery channel for businesses. I wonder how effective adoption will be. I wouldn't be surprised to see this take some time to gain momentum, but thought it was worth sharing.


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Eric Rohrback

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Most social media sites leverage hashtags to help organize information, so it kind of makes sense if G wants to take business listings in a more social direction. People understand hashtags, so it's not like they're inventing something new with a learning curve.

Seems like it could make sense if someone is searching the map for a good place for "Date Night" and see company reviews with "#datenight" show up.

Let's see how they prompt people to add hashtags, since this wasn't available before. Might give us a clue to how they plan to use it.
 

Phil Rozek

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That's a fine thing for certain kinds of bricks-and-mortar businesses, for which things like "#smallbusinesssaturday" might matter. My guess is hashtags will be a big zero for most businesses, and will be abused like a rented mule by some.

Also, I suspect an unintended consequence is that hashtags will make it easier for non-customers to burn a business that gets in the news and earns infamy for whatever reason. Like what we've seen with Yelp and its "Active Cleanup Alerts."
 
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I'm trying to figure out how to see what hashtags actually work. I just tried #disappointed and it didn't work lol. Probably a good thing...

Maybe it's only available to Local Guides at a certain level thus far? I think the TC article said that was how they did the initial notification about the feature. Though you'd think PEs would be able to use it.
 
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