Google Maps for mobile may not get a lot of headlines, but it’s quite the hit. This afternoon, Google announced that the tool, which has been helping people find things (including themselves) for about five years, is currently attracting over 100 million unique users per month.
To let Vic Gundotra, Vice President of Engineering, put it in his own words: "Today, more than 100 million people a month are now using Google Maps for mobile to get from point A to point B, find nearby places, and more," he wrote on the Google Mobile Blog.
Then Gundotra took a sort of trip down memory lane, noting how Google Maps for mobile has gotten smarter and gained features over the years. The large diagram you can see below shows some of those important changes.
Arguably more interesting, though, is the timing of this announcement. Coming as it does on the heels of the Facebook Places hoopla, this could be a hint that Google intends to incorporate a geolocation feature into whatever social network it’s supposed to be building.
Or the statement could be Google’s way of reminding everyone that it, too, is in contact with a whole lot of people, even if, in an apples-to-oranges way, 100 million isn’t as large a group as Facebook’s 500 million.
Congrats to the Google Maps for mobile team in any event. There are no doubt lots of folks who have avoided getting lost (or who have been able to get un-lost) thanks to their efforts.