Happy 19th Birthday Google

Google turned nineteen earlier this month. It’s difficult to imagine what life was like before it came into existence, suffice to say that students used to have to do their home work using things called books and most of us got to where we were going using things called maps. (Or didn’t, depending how good we were at map reading).

Love it or loathe it but Google is now here to stay and it will keep on churning out new stuff that it deems we’ll find useful. Most of the time they’re right and we suspect one new feature that they recently announced – without much fanfare, it has to be said-  we think will catch on once it’s better known. Users enrolled in their Local Guides programme will now be able to upload video clips within the Google maps app.

For some time, businesses have been able to upload images onto Google maps so that navigating to them within the app could bring up street views or even photos of the building itself. But these businesses will now be able to upload 10 second film clips too. Google thinks this will prove a hit and we’re inclined to agree.

Photos of the outside of a pizza restaurant won’t cut the mustard once the owner learns how to upload a video of a pizza being made, or being put in a wood burning oven. Hotel owners too, may want to capture footage of one of their bar staff knocking up a signature cocktail or the chef delivering a flambé to a table.

Naturally, some hoteliers may see this new development as more of a threat than an opportunity. For instance, disgruntled former guests could easily enrol in the service and share video footage of the different types of insects that they’re sharing their bedroom with or the actual view of the sea taken from their bedroom.

Because all this transparency and sharing can be a good thing, especially if it drives up standards and forces suppliers to be more truthful in their marketing.

Just another example, perhaps, of the Google’s shiny new ethical mantra; ‘Do The Right Thing’, at work?

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