Google Maps has expanded its offerings on its My Business app to enable users to message businesses from within the Google Maps app as part of it aim to optimize customer engagement for Android and iOS users.
The offering can be enabled by installing the updated Google My Business app and will aim to provide businesses with a way of engaging with customers in real time.
However, critics from various news outlets question Google's new features saying that it stems from Facebook's businesses strategies such as its Pages and Follow feature.
As Google's new offering follows shortly after its announcement from its Follow feature which offers users the opportunity to receive company updates, critics have questioned the company's strategy arguing that it is alike to Facebook's business offerings.
Google Maps is starting to feel like Facebook’s Big Blue App: does too many things, most of which you can’t remember — much less find. https://t.co/lE3dQy6itn
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) October 25, 2018
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However, according to Google Maps product manager Aditya Tendulkar, the new feature on the app can only be viewed if the local business of choice has activated the new messaging feature on the app.
"So, no matter where you are, as long as a local business has enabled messages, you'll be able to connect with them in a tap. Just look for the message button on Business Profiles on Google Search and Maps," Tendulkar wrote in a blog post.
Google My Business was launched in 2014 to offer business intelligence insights and customer engagement for users of the app. The service integrates AdWords Express technology to assist business owners in understanding how customers find their business online. At launch, the service was limited to the US, Canada, Brazil and India, but according to Tendulkar the new feature will be rolled out on a global scale.
Roll out of the new application began on November 14 and can be downloaded via Google Play or the App Store.