Apple has launched a new self-service portal for US businesses to add or edit listings within Apple Maps. Dubbed Apple Maps Connect, the portal aims to allow small business owners to ensure that their listings are up-to-date and accurate.
According to Search Engine Land, who has used the service, Maps Connect is free, and listings appear in Apple Maps on both desktop and mobile versions. You simply login with your Apple ID, and either create or claim your business listing.
Authentication happens in real time. Users creating or claiming a listing receive an automated call with a code that’s entered within the Maps Connect site. Posting updates or new listings, however, can take up to a week to show up in the Maps app.
Additionally, Apple is using the Maps Connect portal to pedal its new iBeacon technology, offering to install it in high profile locations. It asks that the business be accessible to the general public, and see annual visitors in excess of 1 million per year.
Although it’s US-only at this point, this is a fairly significant move for Apple. It puts them in the same territory of Google’s My Business, which should result in more exposure for businesses, more accurate Maps info for users, and more data for Apple.