Whether you’re trying to find a new restaurant or buying a new car, you likely research the business to see what others think about it or to get other general information. Google’s “local panels” provide a ton of information about businesses, and currently, it looks like Google is preparing a new feature for this panel.
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As pointed out by Sergey Alakov, Google’s local panels are currently testing out a new question and answer box which show up on a wide variety of business listings. Currently, the feature isn’t working (when tapping the box to ask a question, the functionality breaks). Some users have gotten the feature to work, and it works a lot like you’d expect, allowing you to post a brief question on the listing.
From the looks of it, this is something similar to Amazon’s method of allowing questions and answers on product listings, allowing users to control what questions go up and leaving users (or the businesses, presumably) to answer those questions.
If you ask me, this is a great addition to these listings. While reviews are a great outlet for finding information on a certain location, a user-powered Q&A section could prove very powerful. For now, this seems to be in a limited test, so it’s not likely you will already have it live on your device. If you do, be sure to drop a comment below and let us know.