Google has increased the level cap for Local Guides, while also adding new perks and new ways to contribute. Local guides assist Google by adding reviews, photos and updated location information to Google Maps.
Anyone can sign up to be a Local Guide, after which they are eligible to earn points by making contributions to Google Maps. Earning points allows Local Guides to reach higher levels in the program which grants access to more exclusive perks.
Within the coming days, Google will release updates to the Local Guides program that includes a new point system, new levels, new perks, and new ways to earn points.
In addition to earning points for adding new listings or information to Google Maps lists, Local Guides can now earn points for rating places and checking facts from other community members.
Local Guides used to be capped at Level 4. Google has now added 5 new levels, bringing the new cap to Level 10. Level 2 grants early access to new product features, occasional perks from Google, and local perks from partners.
After reaching Level 4-10, Local Guides can redeem a free three-month Google Play Music subscription and 75% off a rental in the Google Play Movie store. In addition, levels 4-10 get access to unique badges to show off their achievements in the Local Guides program.
While it’s a nice gesture for Google to offer additional perks to its most active contributors, the perks are still a far cry from what they used to be. Google once offered a free terabyte of cloud storage for two years just for reaching level 4.
In July 2016, Google drastically cut back on its perks for Local Guides. Once offering a free TB of storage, Google reduced that to just 100GB for level 4 contributors.
It’s likely we’ll never see a perk as good as a free TB of storage again, but at least Google is finally offering more incentives for people to contribute to its Local Guide program.