Google Maps in India has been updated with three new features – ‘Explore’ and ‘For You’ tabs as well as ‘Offers’ section. The Explore tab is available for Android and iOS, while India-first Offers feature will initially be available in 11 cities on Android.
The redesigned Explore tab has seven tiles upfront to help users navigate nearby restaurant, petrol pump, ATM, shopping centre, hotel chemist, and offers. It uses machine learning for specific suggestions related to for instance a restaurant based on the user’s past activity on Maps.
Google Maps’ For You tab will show personalised recommendations from the neighbourhood. If users want to keep a tab on activities like what new restaurants have opened in a specific area, trending places, or offer on dining, etc, then there is the option of changing the neighbourhood as well.
So, for instance, if someone wants to be updated on activities in Hauz Khas in Delhi, then they can change their neighbourhood to receive suggestions. The tab is quite visual and shows information using big tiles. One can also bookmark a restaurant to visit it later, share with contacts or navigate to it directly. There is also an option to follow businesses to get notifications.
To give personalised recommendations related to a user’s interest, the company uses ‘Your Match’ score, which is essentially a combination of the kind of queries a user has looked for on Maps in the past and the information it has. The suggestions are said to improve over time.
Finally, the ‘Offers’ feature has been launched in 11 cities across India including Delhi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Goa, Kolkata, in partnership with EazyDiner and 4,000 restaurants. It shows users deals from various restaurants and also gives them an option to book a table directly as well. The company aims to extract offers from the web as well to show users and not just EazyDiner deals.
As of now, Offers will only work for dining options but it could roll out for other businesses as well. As a limited period offer for 15 days, Google Maps users can avail a minimum of 25 per cent discount across more than 1,500 restaurants by clicking on the ‘Exclusive’ tag while in the ‘Offers’ section.