Here’s what we know about Google Hotpot: It’s a lot more visual and functional than the previous Places setup; it’s getting more promotions than any other Google product right now; it’s integrated with all of Google’s other local featuers; It’s so “full-service” that data providers, such as Yelp, are getting upset; and it’s surprisingly social. Some of that social functionality can be seen through Hotpot itself, where users are able to set up expanded Google profiles, include pictures, connect with friends, share information, and more. However, we’re also seeing some strong social functionality in other elements of Hotpot.
Specifically, I’m talking about the most recent update to the Google Maps for Mobile application. Maps, which has previously come bundled with a Hotpot widget for quickly finding and rating businesses while on the go, now also features a Twitter-integrated sharing mechanism. Once you’ve gone to and rated a location, you can tweet all about it with a single click (you just enable “Post review to Twitter” from the “Optional” panel of your review), directly from the Apps interface.
It’s important that Hotpot is showing as an even more outgoing socialite, but it’s even more important that this is happening via Twitter. Google has shown a strong partnership with Twitter in recent months. Most prominently, Google users can now connect their Google and Twitter accounts. This allows for the recent social search element of Google, which sites that have been “tweeted” by friends higher up on the SERP, displaying the avatar of the friend who shared the page. All these Twitterificfeatures simply fuel the rumors that Google may just end up buying the micro-blogging service that Buzz failed to beat (or even, if we’re honest, really compete with).
[via Tech Crunch]