Google Maps has to be one of Google’s best and most consistent products with new and improved features coming out with a regular cadence. Today’s new maps functionality incorporates direct messaging with businesses (who have signed up) from Maps or search results.
This feature was apparently rolled out last year in test markets and it’s now seeing a wider international release which we’re hoping includes Australia. In order to message a business the business owner needs to install the Google My Business App from the Play Store or AppStore and enable messages. If you haven’t ‘claimed’ your business there is a verification process you’ll need to undertake.
If a business has enabled messages when you search for them on maps or in search, you will see a Messages option in the Business Profile. It’s unclear at this stage if this is only Mobile or if it also works on desk searches.
Click on messages and you’ll be able to directly communicate with the business. If you want to see your previous messages there will be a new tab in the Google Maps app to keep track of all of your previous conversations.
I’ve tried to find a business in Australia with messages turned on without success so far, so if you see one please do let us know. We would ask that you not spam and business owners to ‘test the feature’ however, because that would be unkind to them. If you’re a business owner also feel free to get in contact and tell us if you have the option live for you.
If you own a business and want to take control of your Google listing I’d recommend you check out the My Business app it gives you great controls and interesting insights to your business performance on Google Search and Maps with features like replying to reviews and now direct messaging.