Lab Weekly: Google Maps App, My Business Page, Twitter

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Google My Business has enabled special hours for holiday hours 
Google has recently announced that business owners can now add ‘special hours’ to their local listings in their Google My Business listings. The special hours allows customers to know longer or shorter store hours and upcoming special events. The special hours for business listings are going to be launched early November.
Marissa Nordahl from Google said:
“The holiday season is fast approaching and with it customers looking for last minute gifts; they are wondering when they can visit your business and counting on your business information being correct on Google. Now, if you add those special hours, Google will show the user the hours in your Google Maps listing, and if you do not add those hours, Google will add a disclaimer that the hours may be wrong and let customers know that your ‘hours might differ’ for that holiday.”
Screenshot of ‘Special Hours’:
screenshot of special hours lab weekly
Screenshot of disclaimer:
Screenshot of disclaimer lab weekly
There are three methods for getting the ‘special hours’ for your business:

  1. Set special hours via spreadsheet
  2. Set special hours online
  3. Set hours that extend into the next day

New version of the iOS Google Maps app
A new version of the iOS Google Maps app has recently been released, this version allows users to easily add new and missing businesses from the side bar.
lab weekly maps app
By clicking on the ‘add missing business’ option it will provide you with a form to complete to submit the business to Google for them to review and then submit to Google Map Maker. Below is an example of the form.
example of the form for lab weekly
Social Media
Twitter has recently announced that they are replacing favourites for likes meaning the familiar star icon will now be a heart. Why is Twitter doing this? Twitter thinks this new feature will make it easier for new users to understand Twitter. Favourites have always been one of Twitter’s funky features.
Product manager Akarshan Kumar explained this idea in a blog post:
“We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favourite. The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”
This summer Twitter started experimenting with hearts on its mobile apps. Outspoken investor Chris Sacca has been supporting the change. Below is a section from his 8,500 word essay on adjusting the favourite feature and adding hearts:
“A very high bar is set by using the word ‘Favourite’ on Twitter. Favourite is a superlative. It implies a ranking. In the early days of Twitter many of us interpreted the word literally and only keep a few Tweets in our favourites that were truly, well, our favourites. Today, many of my friends and I use the star as a ‘Like’ button equivalent or even a simple acknowledgement that we saw a Tweet. Whereas other people use favourites as bookmarks. However, the majority of users are baffled by favourites and they don’t end up using the star much, if at all.
It is high time to introduce ‘Hearts’ to Twitter. For years, folks at Twitter struggled with whether to use a more casual gesture. Suggestions even included buttons that said ‘Good’ or Thanks’. It is now clear from across the internet and throughout the world of apps that the heart is universally understood and embraced. (In fact, Periscope’s unlimited heart repetition has elevated the social feedback loop to a mind-blowing new level.) If Twitter integrated a simple heart gesture into each Tweet, engagement across the entire service would explode. More of us would be getting loving feedback on our posts and that would directly encourage more posting and more frequent visits to Twitter.”
Facebook is currently running a test in Ireland and Spain that allows people the option of reacting with a series of emoji’s: “Love,” “Haha,” “Yay,” “Wow,” “Sad” and “Angry” as well as the Like button.
Twitter has also added hearts to its video app Vine which is replacing the smiley icon. Periscope has also used hearts since its launch last spring. Twitter have said that hearts will start appearing this week on iOS and Android devices,, TweetDeck and Twitter for Windows 10, this feature is also be available on embedded tweets on third-party sites. If you use Twitter on Mac’s then you will see this feature soon.

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