Google may turn Maps into a cash machine by introducing ads
A user may now find suggestions of sponsored locations and paid listings while searching for his desired destination.
April 11, 2019 / 12:48 PM IST
People who use Google Maps to get to work or explore new cities will now have to skip advertisements on the app, as Google aims to turn the navigation service into a major source of revenue, Bloomberg reported.
Since Maps launched 14 years ago, it has been an ads-free platform but company executives have suggested recently that they may let advertisers reach Map users. Google also wants to increase the price of Maps' underlying technology that is being used by many businesses. A user may now find suggestions of sponsored locations and paid listings while searching for his desired destination.
Google's search business is still bringing in revenues but it now has competitors like Amazon. The top searches on Google are already filled with ads, but Maps is an untouched territory for Google to monetise on the back of its giant user base.
Google may have to walk this road carefully as it is facing several issues relating to privacy, data collection, its ad business and competition in the US and Europe. The company already knows where you live and work, the restaurants you visit and your basic interests. Schindler said that Google would come up with privacy-sensitive ways to generate personalised lists for users on Maps.
The company has tested ads on the platform many times but never rolled it out completely. In 2018, the voice-based directions from Maps started taking names of famous companies that are big buyers of Google's search ads as landmarks. For example, instead of 'turn right on X Avenue', the app said 'turn right at the Starbucks', or the name of a famous restaurant or business. However, Google clarified that these are not ads, but only helpful landmarks.