Google today announced an update to its Local Guides program — perhaps the biggest one in a while. Starting today, Local Guides can reach up to level 10, whereas previously the “game” was capped at level 5. That means those who previously maxed out their points have reason to start updating Google Maps data again…
For Google, having their best Local Guides users hit the 500 point cap (at level 5) meant that their best contributors no longer had any motivation to keep contributing. Now, it takes a lot more to hit the ceiling of level 10 … 100,000 points to be exact. But Google is also changing up the points system with this update.
Over the next few days we’re rolling out updates to the Local Guides program, including a new point system, new levels that unlock different kinds of perks, and new ways to earn points.
With the new system, Local Guides “players” get more points for doing things that contribute more of the key Google Maps data that Google wants. Google says that things like “being the first to add a place to the map or leaving a review” now earn you more points then other, less important, contributions.
Those who reach the higher levels are also more clearly identified in Google Maps:
For levels 4-10, we’ve designed unique badges, giving guides at higher levels a new way to be recognized for their contributions, and helping users quickly identify the Local Guides who contribute the most. These badges will appear next to each Local Guides’ profile picture in Google Maps.
Along with this, Google is revamping the rewards system a bit as well. Level 2 gets you early access to some product features and occasional perks from partners, as was the case before. Now, Local Guides that get to level 4 and up get a free three-month Google Play Music subscription and 75 percent off rentals in the Google Play Movie store.
You can read the details on the new system at the Local Guides support site.