A consumer survey from the user-generated mapping platform Atly suggests an "alarming level of distrust" in Google Maps, mostly based on outdated location-based search and saving methods.
About 30% of U.S. participants in the survey, Location-Based Recommendations: Mapping Trust & Digital Discover In 2023, said they have little to no trust in Google Maps when it comes to discovering places that best fulfill their needs.
The findings explore where people get destination and activity recommendations, the discovery processes they undergo to do so, and the frequency with which these discoveries translate into actual visits. The study was conducted at the end of February 2023, and just released.
Video content in reviews, recommendations and mapping apps matter to younger generations. Some 49% of those age 18 to 29 choose to visit destinations only if they saw appealing video content of the place. Only 29% of respondents age 30 and up felt the same. About 45% of those aged 45 and older do not factor video or photos into their decision. And 8% of respondents ages 18 to 29 trust video-based reviews more than written reviews. Some 66% of respondents age 30 and above felt the same.
Discovering reliable information about places and things to do remains a daunting task, with 72% of respondents trusting recommendations for destinations and restaurants from family and friends most, compared with social media influencers, online review sites, and Google Maps. Only 11% trust Google Maps to suggest places that meet their needs. If that number is correct, it could present a problems for advertisers.
Atly's report also highlights the challenges consumers face when discovering and saving recommendations online. Across all age groups, the majority of respondents resort to outdated and inefficient methods to save and track places of interest they come across digitally, with 50% of people using screenshots and 39% still bookmarking sites on their web browser.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents acknowledged that they rarely or never visited the places they had previously saved, and for those ages 18 to 29, the number reached 35%.
Only 13% of respondents across age groups regularly visit the places they discover online.
As a result, businesses and content creators are experiencing diminished performance on social media posts. The study suggests that an easier way to search destinations would lead to more discovery.