In a feature that could directly compete with Facebook Events, Google Maps is now allowing users to create public events with specific locations. Though it has yet to be publicly announced as of March 25, 2019, the feature has been confirmed through a dedicated help center article.
Google began highlighting public events in Maps last year, but until now, there hasn’t been a way for regular users to add event information to Maps. Google announced last year at their 2018 I/O conference that they were going to be heading down a path to make them more social, and this appears to be one of the ways they’re doing it. In addition to the public events feature, Maps has also gotten more social with augmented reality directions, personalized recommendations, and the ability to vote on restaurants with your friends. These developments were also announced at the 2018 I/O conference, with no formal release date at this time.
According to Android Police, the implementation is laggy right now, with events taking up to an hour to appear on the map. Not only this, but it appears to be available only in certain regions – and not available to all users within the region. It may have something to do with a user’s local guide status, as it could be problematic to allow every single Google Maps user the ability to add events. Local Guides are users who have earned that status with previous contributions to Google Maps – with check-ins, photos, reviews, and answering questions from other users.
As the feature gets a full rollout, I’d expect to see it become more clear as to the regions and users the feature is available for, and anticipate the time until the post is live on Maps to shorten dramatically.
What You’ll Be Able to Do With the Public Events Feature on Google Maps
You will be able to broadcast events related to your business, such as restaurant openings, concerts, open mic nights, art gallery debuts, etc. without having to send invites or spam social media posts for marketing purposes. That’s not to say you can’t still use social media to promote your event, but Google Maps will provide additional exposure.
If you don’t already have a Google My Business listing, now is a great time to search for your business and claim the listing. This will give you the ability to control what Google displays to users who search for your business, while also helping your overall search rank.
Google has made public events available on Google Maps for sometime now, letting users browse nearby events from a long list of categories including classes, nightlife, concerts, outdoors, and more. Like these, any user created public events will be viewable on the map and searchable for all users with the Events tab.
At this time, the event creation feature is only available for Android users, and there’s no official word on when we can expect it to roll out to other platforms. If your Google Maps app doesn’t allow you to add your own public events, check for updates on Google Play. If that still doesn’t work, be patient, as it’s possible the feature hasn’t been introduced for your location or specific device yet. Based on the fact that it can take up to an hour for an event you create to be live on Google Maps, the feature is still in development.
How to Create an Event on Google Maps
You can add events to a Google Maps listing from the Contribute tab in the Android app. Once in the Contribute tab, there’s another tab for events. To start creating an event, tap “Add a Public Event.”
When creating an event, specify the name of the event, the location, start and end times, category, description, and website where users can for more information about the event. There’s also the option to add photos to draw more attention to your listing. You can use photos of your venue or past events.
How to Edit or Delete Your Event
Unfortunately, at this time, it does not look as though events will be automatically removed from Google Maps after their end time has passed. That means you’ll have to go back to edit and delete the event when it’s finished.
You’ll go back to the Contribute tab, then back to the Events tab. You’ll choose the event you want to edit or delete, then tap “Edit this Event.” To edit, just change the details and information as desired. If you want to delete the event, look for the “Delete this event” option on the editing screen. Follow the on-screen steps to delete the event.
I’ll post more, or come back to update this post with additional details once things are announced and/or fully rolled out. These developments are not only giving marketers and business owners additional tools for reaching their customers, but are giving Google users a richer experience.
The 2019 I/O Conference is coming up next month – from May 7th to May 9th. I can’t see what they’re coming up with next!
If you’re an Android user, check to see if the ability to add events to Google Maps is available to you yet. If so, comment and tell me your region, and whether or not you’ve achieved local guide status. A colleague of mine who lives in South Carolina who is a Level 5 Local Guide does not have the ability yet, and has updated the Maps app through Google Play. She’ll keep an eye out and let me know if it changes soon, but so far, I’ve not been able to identify any kind of rhyme or reason to who has the ability and who doesn’t.