With the introduction of hashtags to reviews on Google Maps, the search engine giant is making it even easier to find out which restaurants offer #vegetarian dishes or which shops are #wheelchair accessible!
This feature builds upon last May's update that introduced the ability for users to filter reviews using keywords. While keyword search was certainly a huge improvement to the platform, hashtags make searching for specific information even easier. Now users can not only manually search for hashtags, but they can also click the hashtag to see other businesses tagged with that word or phrase.
It's worth noting that hashtags on Google are a bit different from those on other platforms. While #squadgoals or #happy are fine for Instagram, hashtags in Google reviews should be more functional. For example, ones like #glutenfree, #locallyowned, #familyfriendly, or even #goodforselfies all help people find businesses that suit their preferences.
There are, however, a few restrictions on who can currently use hashtags in their Google reviews.
As of now, this new feature is only available to users who have signed on to be "Local Guides." They can not only add hashtags to new reviews but they also retroactively add them to old ones. Google suggests that they use up to five hashtags and include them all at the end of the review to make for easier reading.
Additionally, this feature is currently only available through the Google Maps app to Android users.
Hashtag support is just the latest feature to be announced for Google Maps in the last few months. This announcement comes on the heels of another major update to the app that allows users to "follow" their favorite businesses and stay up-to-date with their latest Google posts. With these new features coming fast and furious, it's clear that Google Maps is moving into the social arena and becoming more than just a tool to get you from point A to point B.