Customers can now follow businesses on Google Maps and the Google My Business app on iOS, making way for competition with Facebook Pages.
On Wednesday, Google announced that users can now keep track of their favorite businesses directly in the Google Maps app on iOS. The feature, previously only available on Android, puts Google in more direct competition with Facebook Pages as a place for businesses to connect with customers
Google Maps users on both iOS and Android can now search for a business, tap the “Follow” button, and see updates from these places in a new “For you” tab in the app—to keep track of upcoming events and offers.
Google also launched the Google My Businessapp on iOS this week, allowing businesses worldwide to see their followers and actively post information for them. The “Follow” button is now available on both iOS and Android.
The updates mark another move toward global domination for Google Maps. The service, which boasts over 1 billion monthly active users, recently added support for more native languages, allowing an estimated additional 1.25 billion users worldwide to use Maps in their mother tongues, our sister site ZDNet reported.
Google has continuously updated Maps with features that help customers connect with businesses outside of navigating to them, including the ability to see business hours, contact information, reviews, and photos. With Facebook mired in controversy after its data sharing and privacy scandal, Maps may be the more attractive option for customers to follow and connect with businesses; it may also bring in more Gen Z and teenage users, who are less likely to have Facebook accounts.