Google Launches Google+ Local, Kills off Google Places

Since launching its social network to compete against Facebook last year, Google’s Google+ has gained 100 million active users. Though not nearly anywhere close to Facebook, which is approaching its benchmark of one billion subscribers, Google+ is growing fast.

On Wednesday, Google made another advance in the social networking area. The search engine giant plans to launch Google+ Local, while killing off Google Places, its older version of local listings and searches.

Google Places now shows a link to the new Google+ Local page. Business who had listings on Google Places will automatically get a new page on Google+ Local.

When users search for business, their Google+ friends that have contributed recommendations and opinions on those places will show up in the directory. Google also plans to integrate scores and recommendations from Zagat, a restaurant guide website that Google acquired last year.

Google says that Zagat’s scoring system will be used to grade restaurants. The 30-point scale covers everything from food to décor to ambiance.


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