Since the first photograph was taken over 186 years ago, it’s estimated that more than 3.5 trillion photos have been snapped. With the invention of the smartphone, just about everyone has constant, immediate access to a camera. Google is looking to take advantage of this by unveiling a new feature to their Google Maps service that allows users to directly upload photographs of meals they’ve ordered from restaurants or bars.
As reported by Bidness, Etc., the update was rolled out on Aug. 20, but is so far only available to frequent users, specifically Local Guides who are Level 3 or higher. A Level 3 Guide is a user who has written at least 50 reviews for Google. In the early stages of the program, users are asked to attach a food photo to a certain location on the Google Maps service. They are also asked to describe their dining experience, and whether or not they would recommend the business to others.
The program is currently set up to notify qualified Guides to assign their photos to certain restaurants, which results in a greater exposure. However, a Guide is able to opt out of these notifications by following a Google support link, which controls the smartphones notifications.
Google has previously dabbled in food photography sharing with their experimental service known as Tablescape. Tablescape was launched in February, and allowed users to upload their pictures into specific categories using Google+. However, the app closed down in June after it failed to take off.
In the future, Google hopes to work with online delivery services in order to enable users to order directly from their Google search results.
The company is looking to take more steps to creating a space for food reviewing through their Local Guides system. Google is looking to invite high-quality reviewers to post their opinions on their database. The addition of food photography will help the Local Guides get more exposure, as well as help market the local restaurants.