Ever think that videos might be helpful when checking out a business in Google Maps? Well, Google is now making it easy for Local Guides to upload videos to the app via Android devices, as announced in Google’s Local Guides Forum.     

Local Guides are individuals who have signed up to participate in a program in which they regularly contribute high-quality content to Google Maps. Based on the photos, reviews and other information that is uploaded, they can earn points towards perks and early access to features.

People can watch the videos in Google Maps on iOS, Android or desktop, but as of now, they can only be uploaded by Local Guides on Android. Google suggests the following ideas:

  • “Take viewers on a mini tour of a store you love”
  • “Show the bustling scene at your favorite neighborhood restaurant”
  • “You can even do a quick review where you showcase a place’s best item or offer tips for visitors”

After selecting a place on Google Maps, all a Local Guide has to do to upload a video is scroll down and tap “Add a photo,” then “Camera,” and hold the shutter button for up to 10 seconds. They can also add the first 30 seconds of videos that are already stored on their devices by tapping “Folder” instead of “Camera.”  

What this ultimately means for businesses is that they can now encourage visitors to upload videos showcasing their products, customer service, environment or location in a positive light—which is influencer marketing at its finest. If you’re a business owner, you might want to start thinking about creative ways to encourage these kinds of reviews.

On the user side of things, people will be able to virtually step foot inside a store or restaurant, for example, and get an idea of what to expect. As most of us can attest to, reviews play a crucial role while shopping online. And now with videos in Google Maps, we’ll have the chance to experience being a customer at a place for a short time while searching miles away.