In what might be called the “battle for (user) engagement,” the new Google Maps slideshows are a powerful weapon. Click on any photo on a Places Page and you get a slide show:
I think there are two things going on:
- This will boost page views and consumer engagement; you might imagine a big fat “contextually-relevant” display ad or text ads in the “white space” on the page next to the image
- This will probably encourage businesses to upload more images and video.
From a competitive consumer standpoint there are a few ways for local products to go: more social, more visually rich, more information and metadata. Google is trying to do all of these.
For more discussion see Mike Blumenthal’s post.