Google is extending its service to Users by offering its newest feature for Google Maps - the question and answer section. The update was first spotted back in July but has gone live around the globe since the announcement was made earlier today. It will be available on the Google Map Android app and Mobile Search where users can ask or answer questions under a local business listing. The feature may be found under the business listing's name, address, phone number, and other details.

The Q&A section

The latest addition to the Google line of services is simple and straightforward. It will allow users and business owners to participate in the exchange of questions or use it as a source of information about the business.

In addition, users can also affirm questions they like or find useful by up-voting them. This is to avoid sub standard responses by having a voting system similar to Youtube's, which allows subscribers to "thumbs up" videos that are most useful.

Responses that receive the highest rates will be recognized and put on top of the section. Similar to the Google search engine, the user who seeks information does not have to sort through thousands of results to find the desired answer. The company is also encouraging business owners to maximize their reach by providing more information. They have the option to add frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers that will serve as ready guidelines for users.

In addition, Google worked on a system where a user's question about a location or place will prompt the business owner to provide their answers and insight.

Other users who may be knowledgeable about the subject matter may also contribute and share what they know. Once the user's questions are answered, a notification will be immediately sent to the user. The feature is looking to have great potential to establish and build communities not only for business purposes but also for sharing common ideas and interests.

Google's efforts

As usual, Google continues to look for ways to improve their services to its users. With this recent update, it is making further investments on bringing user-generated content to Maps. At present, it already has a mechanism for rewarding users who do business reviews, share photos, and provide information about accurate business listings.

Moreover, the new Q&A section is definitely more interactive than its current form. It is quite exciting to see how users and business owners will take advantage of the feature. Perhaps what is not clear at this point is how will Google monitor the platform.

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