NIX Solutions: New Ad Format on Google Maps Raises Concerns

Google Maps is testing a new advertising format that causes concern for its intrusiveness. During navigation, a pop-up appears with an ad suggesting a stop at a nearby business. This ad format may have been borrowed from Google’s Waze navigation system, although Waze’s ads only appear when the vehicle is parked.

NIX Solutions

Google Maps’ Advanced Features and AR Update

Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the best navigation apps and a core part of Google services. The service features some of the latest maps with advanced functionalities such as Live View and Immersive View, which allow users to see their destination and route from above, as well as real-time traffic updates.

Additionally, the update, based on Google’s ARCore Geospatial API, will bring AR content from “select partners” to the Maps platform when using Street View and Lens in Maps. A steady stream of EV-related features ensures that the platform is ready for the future. We’ll keep you updated on these exciting advancements.

Concerns About Driver Distraction

However, like some other Google services, Google Maps also contains advertisements. Initially starting with hotel and vacation rental listings, these have expanded to include company social media profiles. Now, the tech giant appears to be working on an intrusive new ad format that could raise concerns about driver distraction.

The new ad format reportedly appears in the middle of traffic and prompts users to take a “fast detour” to a sponsored location. The ad includes a rating of the sponsored location, how long it will take to get there, a button to add the offer as a stopover, and a button to cancel the offer. The pop-up window covers important map information at the bottom of the display, and its appearance while the vehicle is moving can be distracting to the driver—something most navigation apps try to avoid. The pop-up offer is shown approximately two minutes from the location.

Google Waze also offers location-based advertising, but it is limited to stationary vehicles, greatly reducing safety and distraction concerns, notes NIX Solutions. It’s currently unclear whether the pop-up ads appear while the vehicle is in motion simply because it’s an early test by Google or whether the tech giant intends to serve ads this way. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.