Google Now Rewards Smartphone Photography

Do you click photographs of food at restaurants? Or your favorite destination or the new art gallery you stumbled upon? If you have caught these experiences on your smartphone camera, you are in for a mighty reward from Google.

These two videos will help you get started.

One of Google’s lesser known platforms is Local Guides. This one-of-its-kind social media destination kicked off in 2015, but hasn’t gained much prominence.

However, Google Local Guides shows a promising community of global explorers who share their discoveries on Google Maps.

By doing so, they help people, particularly those new to town, find the best spots in the area. This platform, like Facebook, enables you to meet likeminded people, while unlocking a series of benefits doled out by Google.

This means as Google’s Local Guide, you’ll help others explore new things and experience new places. In turn, you get rewarded by Google

Who is qualified to be a Local Guide?

In order to participate in the program as a Local Guide, you must:

  • Have a valid Google account.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have signed up to participate in the program here.

How do you become a Google Local Guide?

By using your smartphone. Click a photograph, write a review about the topic, and publish. Google will reward you with points that will soon be a big deal, according to Google.

“Being a Local Guide is kind of a big deal. You might persuade someone to check out a new place, or pass it up and try somewhere else. Here are some tips to make your contributions the best they can be,” says Google.

From time to time, Google may elect, at its sole discretion, promote your membership in the program, for example, by including a Local Guide badge or icon on your profile or reviews.

Basically, you need to complete “Five Levels” to become a Local Guide.

According to the Google website, the instructions are as follows:

Level 1

  • Get the inside scoop with the Local Guides monthly newsletter.
  • Join Google-hosted workshops and Hangouts.
  • In select countries, enter in exclusive contests for Local Guides.

Level 2

  • Get early access to new Google products and features.
  • Promote your own meetups on the Local Guides calendar

Level 3

  • Get noticed with your Local Guides badge in Google Maps.
  • Connect with other Local Guides in the exclusive Google+ Community.
  • Lead the conversation by moderating Local Guides community channels.
  • Receive invites to Google-hosted events in select cities.

Level 4

  • Upgrade your Google Drive storage.
  • Be eligible to be featured in Local Guides online channels.

Level 5

  • Be a Google insider, testing new products before public release.
  • Apply to attend Google’s Level 5 Local Guides summit.

In the latest Google Maps beta, Google has included a new feature that is currently only available to Google Local Guides who have reached level 4.

It boasts a new lists option in Maps through which users will be able to create and view lists of places through the “Your places” section in the navigation menu.

This feature enables you to create a customized list. For starters, Google has doled out a few lists to get you going, such as “Favorites,” “Want to go,” and “Shared places.”

Google Local Guides can impact businesses, particularly restaurants, hotels and resorts.

“It’s OK to be critical, but please be constructive, even if you’re not crazy about the place. That way business owners can use your feedback to improve their services. People can spot a biased review from a mile away. There’s nothing wrong with showing some love for your favorite local spot, but please don’t do it to get free stuff or special treatment. Keep your reviews true to the cause,” advises Google.

[Photo by Fotolia/AP Images]