Google has renamed its City Experts local reviews program. It’s now called “Local Guides.”
To be a part of the program you have to apply (or be currently enrolled), be at least 18 and have a valid Google+ account. Google appears to have gotten rid of the rigid “at least 5 reviews a month” rule in favor of different participation levels based on cumulative reviews:
Level 1: 0+ reviews:
Access our monthly newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest program benefits, features, and news
In select countries, invites to members-only contests
Level 2 — 5+ reviews:
Join Hangouts with tastemakers, connoisseurs, and Googlers worldwide
Submit your own Local Guides meetups for promotion
Eligible to test new Google products and features before public release
Level 3 — 50+ reviews:
Get highlighted in the Google Maps app with a Local Guides badge
Join our private Google+ community
Apply to moderate Local Guides Google+ Communities
In select cities, invites to exclusive events
Level 4 — 200+ reviews:
Eligible to be featured on our official Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and more
Annual thank you gift for consistent, high-quality contributions to Google Maps
Reviews must still meet the “high quality” standards previously used to determine credit/eligibility.
I have no sense of how well the program is going or how much participation Google has managed to generate but the fact that it’s still around suggests that there is at least some threshold level of engagement.
What have you heard? What do you think about the name change and other program changes?