Your Apple Map place search results are about to get a lot richer after the company introduced Business Connect, a new platform and set of tools for businesses of almost any size to edit and manage their Place Cards.
Similar to how businesses and people can claim with Google Knowledge Boxes, businesses can claim their Place Cards through Business Connect but they must show proof of ownership.
Most will be able to do so through their businesses' phone numbers where they'll receive a four-digit code to enter Business Connect. New Businesses will need to provide some documentation.
Apple Place Cards
Place Cards appear throughout Apple's ecosystem. You see them, for instance, if you search for a local diner in Apple Maps, select a location and then slide the card up to see all the details, including address, distance, hours, reviews, photos, links to the menu and the website.
In the new Place Cards, much of that detail has been reordered and redesigned. Instead of a large name up top, there might be a banner photo or cover image with a logo on the left-hand side. Things like photos, and the action buttons like "Call" and "Place order" remain, but they're in a new spot.
There's now also a section called "Showcases," which is where businesses can highlight sales, limited-time offers, and other incentives.
An "About" section lets the shop tell its own story. That will sit above the preexisting "Good to know box," which will still feature other useful information about the store.
One of the really big changes here, though, is that businesses can edit all this info through the new Business Connect, and they can do it all for free.
Inside the system, businesses can now edit their own photos, add, and schedule showcases, update their categories, and customize the action buttons. Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews and ratings will still be a part of the updated Place Cards. One thing the new system will not provide is the ability to alter or edit third-party reviews, ratings, or photos related to their business.
The ability to edit will even extend to the business pin on the map. If that pin is not close enough to the front door, the business owner can move the pin.
Also new is the ability for these businesses to track the performance of these Place Cards. They'll know how people find them and how they interact with the cards. Such knowledge, though, could lead to businesses endlessly editing their Place Cards in the hopes of increasing engagement.
For bigger businesses managing multiple locations, think a Starbucks or Walgreens, there's now Business Connect API, which they can use to deliver location details through third-party listing companies.
The redesigned Place Cards will appear in Maps, Sir, Safari, and any place the original Place Cards appear.
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A 35-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.
Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.