As we talked out in the past, Google decided to shut down Panoramio last week. This was the third party service used by Google Maps that allowed users to upload photos to Maps. These photos were associated with various locations, so that others users could look at them. It was a way to create a strong community Panoramio and Google Maps. However, as we have said, Google decided to put an end to this service because they thought it was a bit redundant now. Google Maps already has its own photo upload and sharing capabilities, integrated into the app itself. Therefore, Panoramio was not needed. This is why Google decided to remove it. Moreover, what Google wanted to do with all this is to encourage users to use the native tools of Google Maps other third parties.
With this announcement, Google reinforced the idea that they are trying to turn Google Maps into something more. They want it to be a social platform and not just an app or service to get around. It will also work a tool to discover new places. With all these, Google Maps can work even better as an advertisement and marketing tool, which is something Google would definitely be interested in.
Recently, Google gave users the option to add locations and confirm suggested edits, making Maps a more personalised and reliable tool overall.
Google Maps has proven to be better than other similar services
On the other hand, Google also relies a lot on Maps as an artificial intelligence that works on the road, as they have claimed. The company has spent almost two decades polishing and working on improving the service. It has surpassed others like Apple, Tesla or Facebook in this regard. This makes sense, because integrating more service inside Maps helps to feed its IA more data, which makes it better.
It seems that Google really wants to make Maps a much more versatile tool as well as a social platform, with its own rich community. That is why they are investing on native tools and removing third party services.