There are dozens of different Google product lines — hundreds, if you count products specific to other countries — but we only keep track of a select few. In the last few weeks, one that we’ve kept up with quite fully is Hotpot. There are several reasons for our dedication to coverage. 1) Google has shown major dedication to the project, even violating some of its own rules to advertise the new service. 2) It’s the closest thing Google currently has to a successful social network. And 3) It’s actually kind of neat! One of the things I consider neat, of course, is frequent and valuable updates, like the recent addition of location photo sharing.
As announced on the Google Hotpot Blog, the “Place photo viewer” is being expanded to allow users to contribute to the pictures for any given location. The process will be simple, requiring only that users go to the “Photos” segment and click the all-too-obvious “Upload a photo” option. These photos will then be certain that the content meets both obvious standards (it can’t violate trademarks, contain illegal content, be pornographic, etc.) and more subtle ones (the images must be primarily of the business in question, and it can’t “violate privacy,” which may be construed to mean no people are allowed to be highly visible in the image).
Google suggests using pictures of the business’s decor, dish presentation, or exterior design. However, it clarifies that any images that meet the company standards will be available for browsing both in Hotpot and Google Maps.
While it may seem like a small and obvious item to add, this move presents Google with two major advantages.
- Google no longer has to rely on a business representative to supply images, or updates to images, for their company.
- Google has begun a “photo sharing” service within their pseudo social-network.
Well played, Google. Well played.