Time to Publish: Google Maps to Remove Draft Reviews Feature

Julian Blackwood


blog image

Google Maps has long been a trusted companion for travelers and local adventurers alike, providing valuable insights into dining, accommodation, and attractions worldwide. User-generated reviews have played a crucial role in shaping the reputations of businesses and guiding the choices of consumers. However, a recent decision by Google will alter how users interact with the review feature on Maps. This change emphasizes the constant evolution of the platform to streamline user experience and adapt to new technological frontiers.

Traditionally, Google Maps allowed users to effortlessly create, edit, and refine reviews before sharing their experiences with the world—a convenient feature for those who preferred to draft their thoughts and return to polish them later. This luxury is set to become a relic of the past, as Google plans to eliminate the ability to save and revisit draft reviews. Commencing from a scheduled date in July, all existing drafts stored within the platform will vanish, prompting users to either finalize their pending reviews or bid them farewell.

The news came to light through an email circulated by Google and was initially identified by a tech community leader. Users currently in possession of any unfinished reviews on Google Maps received an advisory to act on these drafts before they are automatically purged. Those seeking preservation of their yet-to-be-published thoughts have an alternative, however; Google Takeout—a service that allows for the archiving of personal data accumulated on Google services—provides an avenue to salvage unshared reviews.

This shift away from supporting drafts did not occur abruptly, as earlier modifications to the app already set the stage by removing automatic saves for in-progress reviews. Instead, users found themselves having to immediately decide between discarding their incomplete thoughts or pushing ahead to a hurried publication. This change aligns with Google's broader strategy to simplify user actions and declutter the interface, even as it gears up to introduce fresh capabilities to the app—a striking example being the planned implementation of satellite connectivity to enhance user safety in isolated locales.

As with any significant platform update, this move will demand a period of adaptation for frequent contributors. The eradication of draft reviews on Google Maps signifies a new era of immediacy in content sharing and contributes to a more streamlined user experience. Before we cross into this new horizon, avid reviewers have one task on their agenda: finalize your thoughts and share your experiences with the community, for the window of opportunity to perfect and publish your draft reviews is drawing to a close.