Google Maps is pretty much the go-to app for navigation these days, but it packs a lot of additional features as well, like offering business info and personalized recommendations. Google experimented with allowing users to follow select Local Guides last year, and now the company is expanding the program to include all users — that's right, Google Maps is now a social network.
Rolling out globally today, users on Google Maps who have shared photos, reviews, or lists publicly will be followable. The updated profiles look a lot like a Twitter or Facebook page, with a follow button and the number of followers the account has. Once you follow a user, you'll receive their posts, recommendations, and other wisdom in the Updates tab of the Maps app.
If you'd prefer to keep your city's hidden gems to yourself, you can always make your profile restricted, which lets you manually approve people who request to follow you. Along with the new following features, there will also be new topic filters on profiles that show off what a user posts the most about. While I don't foresee myself ever using this feature, I guess it could be a cool thing if you live in a bigger city with Local Guides who consistently post about all the cool new
hangouts take-out restaurants.