On their quest for world domination, Google is trying to break into the restaurant reviewing biz (sorry, Yelp). If you’ve been a Google Maps user for some time, you’ve probably noticed that maps will often list icons for various businesses. Upon clicking, you can access business information and photos, as well as reviews and ratings. The latter two are provided by Google users who have signed up for Google’s reviewing program called Local Guides.

Local Guides have always gotten some pretty nifty perks — like early access to new Google features, invites to Google-hosted events and bragging rights — but recently, Google just unveiled a whole new incentive system that will probably draw flocks of new reviewers.


Recently, Google unveiled on their blog a new five-tiered Local Guide incentive program. If you have between zero and four points, you’re considered a Level One Local Guide and you get entry to exclusive contests in select countries. Google has even hinted the prizes of such contests consist of new Google products. Level two LGs need to have at least five to 49 points to their name and they “get early access to new Google products and features.” Level three requires 50 to 199 points and you get your own official Local Guides badge that shows up in the Maps app itself. Cool, I guess? All this is nothing new.

Here comes the good part: level four, which requires 200 to 499 points, gets a free 1 TB upgrade to Drive storage. HOLY COW. What. That’s worth $9.99 a month, and you can get it for free just by leaving reviews. Then, there’s level 5 for which you need 500+ points. These elite Local Guides can apply for attendance to Google’s inaugural Local Guides summit in 2016 for global guides. You also get a tour of the Google campus and some of the top secret deets regarding what to come for Google Maps.

We wonder what exactly Local Guides discuss at Local Guides Summits. Perhaps they have heated debates about who frequents the best coffee shops or something?

Check out Google’s Local Guides intro video below.

Will you be signing up as a Local Guides? Tell us in the comments below!

(h/t ZDNet)