How You Can Use Google Maps Like a Social Network

Google Maps has been with us since 2005, and it that time it has amassed plenty of features—not just for mapping and helping you get around, but also in terms of keeping you connected to friends, family, and other Google Maps users.

From configuring your Google Maps profile to helping other travelers, these are all the social networking features now available in the app. It’s not quite Facebook or Snapchat, but Google Maps is more social than you might have realized.

Edit Your Google Maps Profile

You might have a Google Maps profile that you don’t know about.

Google Maps via David Nield

If you didn’t already know, you have a Google Maps profile. It’s what people see when they follow your name on a rating, a review, or a photo that you’ve added to a place on the map. To edit your profile, open the Google Maps app on your Android phone or iPhone, then tap Contribute, View your profile, and Edit profile.

You can edit the photo used on your profile and the name that’s shown to other people, as well as add a short bio up to 200 characters in length (Google Maps suggests that you “tell others about yourself and the places you love”).

This information is the same as the information linked to your actual Google account. If you make changes here, they’ll appear elsewhere in other Google services (Gmail, for example). If you want to specifically make a name for yourself as a Google Maps travel advice guru, it might be worth setting up a secondary Google account.

Get Updates From Local Guides

You can follow other people whose local knowledge you trust.

Google Maps via David Nield

These profiles open up another feature in Google Maps: following and being followed. The idea is that you might want to follow local experts whose opinions you value on which places to frequent, as well as friends and family. To follow someone in the Google Maps app for Android or iOS, tap on their name on a review or rating, then choose Follow.

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