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Meet the women behind hashtags on Maps

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Hashtags_On_Maps_DAY2.gifCaption: A GIF that alternates between a variety of hashtags including #cozy, #trivia, #dogfriendly, #beautifulviews, and more underneath a drawing of a trophy on a green background.

In November, we introduced hashtags on Google Maps. Whether youโ€™ve discovered a #dogfriendly cafe you love or are looking for a park with #beautifulviews, hashtags make it easier to share and discover the details you care about.   

 

Adding hashtags to Maps was no easy task, so we asked Product Manager Catherine Wu and Software Engineer Keerthana Boloormore how they made it happen. Spoiler alert: Local Guides had a hand in inspiring this feature!

 

What inspired you to add hashtags to Google Maps?

 

Keerthana: Hashtags are now almost a standard markup for people to express themselves on social media. With hashtags, communities can contribute to the same theme across Google Maps, helping build niche communities and discover long-tailed interest groups.

 

Cat: We were also inspired by the Local Guides community. Local Guides have been incredible in helping our users find things they care about. With hashtags, weโ€™re really excited to let the Local Guides community have an even bigger positive impact. As our local experts, when Local Guides add hashtags about things they care about, they help those who share their interests find new amazing experiences. Weโ€™re so excited to see what you come up with!

 

What kind of content can people find by tapping on hashtags?

 

Keerthana: When you tap on a hashtag youโ€™re interested in, youโ€™ll find local places that other users have tagged with the same hashtag in reviews, photos and other user generated contributions. You can also search for your favorite hashtags directly on Google Maps.

 

Hashtags_on_maps_Vegetarian_2.gifCaption: A GIF that shows a four-star review that says, โ€œDelicious restaurant with tons of options for everyone. My favorite place for vegetarian #paella #eatglobalโ€ against a blue background with a drawing of a fork and knife.

 

How do you hope this new feature will make a positive impact?  

 

Keerthana: We hope this helps users find things they care about, be it a unique hobby or general preference. We know that Google Maps doesnโ€™t serve all our usersโ€™ needs today and we hope this empowers users to better help their communities.

 

Cat: Last year, we also worked with you all to improve accessibility on Google Maps. One piece of feedback we heard was that users wanted to have more control over what accessibility features to share; hashtags let you choose what is important to share and help Google Maps users all over the world.

 

Can you include emoji in hashtags? 


Cat: Yes! Weโ€™re especially excited about this because emoji are universally understood, no matter what country youโ€™re from or language you speak. Also, they add fun to reviews. #๐Ÿฆ#๐Ÿšด

 

Hashtags_on_maps_Fire_2.gifCaption: A GIF that shows a five-star review that says, โ€œScenic beach with bonfire pits. Come at sunset and roast #smores #fire emojiโ€ against an orange background with a drawing of a sun and marshmallows on sticks.

What were some of the biggest challenges with this project?

 

Keerthana: From an engineering perspective, identifying scalable solutions to search across different kinds of user generated content with infrastructure built by several teams was a challenge. We worked with teams across the world in California, New York, Bangalore, Zurich, and Japan to build this!

 

What hashtag tips do you have specifically for Local Guides?

 

Cat: If you have already written many reviews or uploaded many photos, you can go back and add hashtags to your existing contributions. We are also always looking to feature contributions that mention #letsguide, so weโ€™d recommend adding that to all your favorite places! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

What are your favorite hashtags?

 

Keerthana: For my vegetarian family, #vegetarianfriendly and #vegan have been super helpful. Searching for #vegetarianfriendly helps us confidently check out restaurants of different cuisines. I am so excited to add #playdates, #kidfriendly, #indoorclimbing to places in my neighborhood as I explore them with my daughter and her friends!

 

Cat: Iโ€™m really excited about improving accessibility on Maps so my favorites are #stepfree and #accessibleWC. I also love seasonal traditions so Iโ€™m excited to add #iceskating #holidaylights and #fallleaves to my reviews as well.

 

Anything else youโ€™d like to add?

 

Cat: We built this feature for you, so if you have any feedback, weโ€™d love to hear it! And of course, hashtag away! #keepcalmandhashtag

93 Comments
Level 6

makasih

 

Level 8
i appreciate for the great effort you made and we as a local guide will contribute more n will make the world a better place.
Level 8

@AriMar,

 

Since knowing the lady who created emoji's, it reminds me of her whenever I use an emoji. ๐Ÿ˜„

 

Now adding #๐Ÿ‘ would be interesting.

Level 10

Thank you for sharing @AriMar and Thanks to these women who are doing a great job in making Google Maps a more better and useful tool for all. With innovative features like this on Google Maps from time to time, I see it growing to serve the needs of everyone. #Googlethefuture

Level 8

@AriMar Great post. I'm looking forward to using more hashtags in my reviews. Thanks for the update  

ะ‘ะปะฐะณะพะดะฐั€ัŽ ะทะฐ ั…ะพั€ะพัˆัƒัŽ ั€ะตะบะพะผะตะฝะดะฐั†ะธัŽ ะพ ั…ััˆั‚ัะณะต๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’œโ˜บ6  

Thanks @AriMar

For sharing this with us.

I really like it in my reviews 

Saudi local guide ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

Hello @AriMar,

Thank you for your valuable information. I really enjoy using #hashtag with my review in google map, and now i'll try to use emoji too. Hopefully, the 2019 will bring fortune for all of us.

Level 6
Spoiler
 

This is an interesting invention. Most welcomed. 

Thank You for contributed. Keep our local Guide support!! Happy anew Year, Everyone!!

Level 10

I really like the hashtags feature, so thanks to Cat, Keerthana and the team that made them happen! 

I do have some ideas on hashtags that I'd love to see on Maps, hopefully sharing them here could make that happen, or give the team some other ideas:

  • To be able to search for multiple hashtags at once, only showing results that have both of them.  You can read more about it on the Idea Exchange board, clicking here.
  • When you search for a hashtag, Maps could recommend other related hashtags or related results for you to see the results of. Example: if you search for #cupcake you could get recommendations for #cupcakes, #muffin, #muffins and even the same word in another language, if there are many results of that. It could increase a lot the results the searcher would be able to find. Clicking here you can read more about this idea.
  • When writing a hashtag, it could suggest words filling out what you have written so far, maybe related hashtags too. They could be organized from popularity. Click here to read more about it.

 

 Thank you for sharing this, @AriMar!

well thats a new idea

Level 6

Great idea! It would really be easy searching for places with the hash tags.

I have a suggestion I would love to see that each mapping location have it own unique QRcode, which business location could print on there flyer so someone could scan from the flyer using the Map app pulling out the business location with easy and also getting direction.

QR_code_for_mobile_English_Wikipedia.svg.pngUnique QR code for each map location. #suggestions

 

Just my idea really think this will be cool.

Level 9

Thanks for sharing this useful Post @AriMar

@AriMar thank you for sharing ! #hashtags 

Itโ€™s a great conversation and heard the back story of thr hashtags

keep rocking ๐Ÿ‘

Level 8

Thank for sharing this story @AriMar!

Level 10

emoji is a nice additon. 

Level 10

@AriMar thank you for sharing these perspectives !!!

Level 7

Thank you โค๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
To share this with us.

I really liked it in my assessment of duty

Level 8

Good Job

Thanks @AriMar for letting us know about this new awesome feature and the women behind it. Must appreciate their hard work and thinking. 

Great work๐Ÿ‘ 

Soo much excited to add different and unique emoji hashtags for future contributions on maps. These are very helpful for the user to view different types of places very easily. 

Google is really shaping a great Future

Proud to be one of the Local Guides of Google maps๐Ÿ˜€

#GoogleTheFuture

Level 8

Most useful tips @AriMar thank you for sharing with us...

Great post @AriMar and much kudos to the engineering team involved in making this feature a reality! I'm not a huge hashtag user but after reading this post, I think I need to re-educate mysefl! Lol! 

Level 10

Hi @AriMar thanks for sharing useful tips and happy new year 2019.

Level 7

i appreciate for the great effort you made and we as a local guide will contribute more n will make the world a better place.

Connect Moderator

Thank you @AriMar  for sharing this great post, also love to hear that we can include emoji in hashtags :)

Level 6

@AriMar

Thank you for sharing all these information.It will be very helpful.

 

Level 7

Wooow such a nice article

Level 1

like

Level 10

I'm very on the fence with this feature.

 

About a few days ago, I saw the following review at a kebab store: "BEST KEBABS IN THE WEST!!!!!! ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ฆ" followed by a two star review. Anyone can make an attempt to translate what the overall meaning could be, but strangely the amount of sarcasm you can perceive in emojis is limited to your imagination. Of course, that's if you start encouraging users to add emojis into their review. 

 

A lot of businesses can deal with worded complaints, explanations of their service or apologise for their shortcomings, but I have a feeling once ๐Ÿ’ฉ or ๐Ÿ‘Ž emojis start appearing in droves in reviews, owners will probably go mad. I've even heard read an instance of a law firm's response on a Google review advising their client not to use love heart or thumbs up "icons" in their reviews which can trivialise their cases and representation. Some businesses might not like seeing hashtags or emojis used in their reviews, so maybe they'd like to have some control over its use.

 

To the actual feature now, #hashtags. Catching up on a few weeks of reviews, one day the following statement starts to appear in the preface: "Add #hashtags and reach more people." I've never really been the one to use hashtags except for one particular line in Instagram that I just chuck a bunch of hashtags for some exposure, but Google Maps is an excellent resource for seeing written, cohesive reviews. Unless you're also thinking of implementing #hashtags on individual photos too, there is a disconnect if the hashtagged content you're only going to see are reviews. Allow photos to be #hashtagged too.

 

I usually want to limit the use of hashtags to social platforms like Instagram or Twitter, but at this moment in time I don't really see the point of using hashtags since when going into the hashtag on the Android version of Maps it only shows local results. It doesn't seem to work on desktop Maps at the moment, but this is a new feature.

hashtag central.PNGCaption: An example of what I don't want to see. Can you believe that amount of #hashtags exceeds 200 characters?Google Maps is not as much a social media as other established platforms, and perhaps adoption of emojis and #hashtagging might be slow at first. But I believe in its firmness as an informative, formal and reliable application that does what it needs to do straight to the point without any fluff. Questions and answers is still pretty scattered and fragmented a year since its been implemented in my opinion (odd questions, as well as the common "this question was removed" error), but I'll watch closely on how #hashtags will shape the way Google Maps interacts.

 

I just don't want to see countless  businesses start to use emojis or hashtags. Or worse yet, hashtags in the form of keyword stuffing or spam within the business name, for example:

DTC Packers And Movers Gurgaon #moving #storage #service #shop #market #international #recommended #best

I can think of an example where people are going to start branding themselves or an affiliate company into their reviews (e.g. #foodblogs, #ubereats, etc), but, as I've said I will monitor these reviews closely. How will they affect relevance as to how high these reviews reach with hashtags and/or emojis? Also anyone who's reading this will most likely include #letsguide into all their reviews, so I guess that can't be helped.


I'll trial hashtags for a while in some of my reviews, and if it is as good as they make it sound, it'll become second-nature and a positive impact to Google Maps. Let's see how this goes.

Level 9

#hashtag #throwback #lol

Level 7

Very inspiring article thanks

Level 1

I love learning more about the people behind the products!! Please do more of this!

Hi @AriMar,

Thanks a lot for sharing this with us. I would like to appreciate this new feature and the women behind it. 

Great thinking and great work. 

#LetsGuide

 

Great news, I will use #VEGAN a lot <3 thx mari <3

I Dont see any hightlight from hashtag !?

Connect Moderator

@Briggs I suspect over users of #hashtags to the point where there is little or no meaning should be treated as per any other kind of spammer and reported either via the App or here on Connect.

Level 7

@AriMar very good initiative by Google. Sometimes i already used #vegetarian#veg and many type new hastages. But now Google officially launch these types hastages for every place. It's very impressive work. 

Level 3

like

Level 2
most of the location in my state are named wrongly on map and I don't know how to make an active correction that will be uploaded. Please i need help from you guyz?
Level 7

Thanks for Sharing, hashtaging will definitely change the way People discover new places and the word in general.

Level 6

Very nice

Great

 

Level 3

Fantastic intergration by these #inspiring women and #google

tks u, great!

Great. Tks u

Level 7

great post @AriMar

Amazing idea to encourage easy access to quality information of interest ! Kudos

Level 9

Perfect solution that of the hastag for help and advice in finding the right places and places!
Thank you so much to your work guys!

 

Bye,

David