Google introduced a revamped Google My Business application Wednesday with the hopes of simplifying connections between businesses and potential customers.
Google My Business engineering manager Curtis Galloway said more than 9 billion connections between people and businesses occur on Google each month, including over 1 billion phone calls and some 3 billion requests for directions to stores.
Google My Business now features a new Customers tab, enabling businesses to see followers, reviews and messages in one place.
When people discover a business via Google Search, they can connect with that business in various ways—messaging, following, booking services, leaving reviews—directly via its Google Business Profile. The Customers tab brings information on all of those actions into a single destination.
And users will have access to a For You tab, where posts from businesses they follow on the app will appear in Google Maps. The For You tab will initially be available only to Android users in a few countries, with iOS and more countries to be added soon.
Users can also use the message button on Google Maps and Google Search to reach out directly to businesses, which, in turn, can respond to those messages directly via the Google My Business app. Prior to this update, businesses had to use their devices’ messaging platforms to respond to messages.
Google said this messaging capability was previously available only in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and India, but more countries will gain access this week.
Back to businesses, a new Posts button enables businesses to upload content including photos, offers and events directly to their Google Business Profiles, as well as to manage information about their businesses.
All edits appear seamlessly across Google Search and Google Maps.
And Google Business Profiles will now feature analytics about how many people are finding and connecting with those businesses front and center on the home screen.