Google has today relaunched its review program previously called City Experts as Local Guides, and hopes to engage the community and get more people involved through what looks to be some much more friendly branding and fun new features. While Google previously touted the “exclusive benefits” you could receive through the program and required “50 high-quality reviews” for entry, the new program instead suggests that you “help others and support businesses” and encourages you to “be yourself.”

The City Experts program originally launched in August of 2013 in an effort to bring more high-quality reviews to Google results and give the company an edge over competitors like Yelp, Urbanspoon, and others. The program was relatively exclusive, however, and required that users contribute at least 5 high-quality reviews each month to keep their “City Expert” status. While doing 5 reviews per month likely isn’t too difficult, Local Guides does away with that arbitrary requirement and introduces a tier-based system to determine what kinds of benefits you’ll receive.

Local Guides, an official Google program, is a global community of explorers who seek out and celebrate local experiences. By writing reviews, adding photos, and editing Maps on Google, you help others feel at home in the world, anywhere they go.

Although not yet available, Google mentioned that Local Guides will soon be coming to both the Android and iOS Google Maps apps, allowing you to see how many reviews you’ve completed and where you stand in the rankings. “With the new Local Guides badging available very soon for Android and iOS Google Maps app, you’ll be able to see your review count and ratings count,” the post says. Users who were already in the City Experts program have automatically been moved over to Local Guides.

If you were never a part of the City Experts program, you can head over to the Local Guides website to get started.

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Stephen Hall

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