Google is testing a new hyperlocal service called Bulletin

Google local on phone

 With the success of its Local Guides program, Google is moving further into 'hyperlocal' content with Bulletin. 

Search giant Google is testing a brand new local service it is calling Bulletin. They describe Bulletin as a "lightweight app for telling a story by capturing photos, video clips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web".

The test is currently only live in two US cities - Nashville in Tennessee and Oakland in California. Google sees Bulletin as a platform for users to to contribute "hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone", with the emphasis being on "inspiring stories that aren’t being told."

google bulletin example
Example of how a 'story' will look on Bulletin. Img: GOOGLE

Bulletin marks yet another move into local content, which suggests a 'bigger picture' plan for the search engine.

Google now has a network of over 50 million Local Guides around the world, who contribute user-generated content about local businesses.

Bulletin could be seen as a competitor to Nextdoor - a private social network for neighbourhoods - but it could also be seen as a tactic to eat away at the time mobile users spend on Facebook.

Facebook has seen a huge rise in local-based groups in recent years (UK users will surely have noticed a lot of "Spotted..." Pages in their area), with users sharing local information, news, events and even gossip.

As Google plans to distribute Bulletin-based content across its search channels as well as via social media channels, it would seem it is looking to encourage users to use Bulletin as a way to share content hosted on a Google URL on Facebook - taking people away from Facebook and into Google's ecosystem.

That is just an educated guess though, so don't take our word for it!

About the Author

Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford is an SEO expert with over 15 years’ experience.

During his time working in SEO, Luke has set-up an SEO agency, worked as an in-house SEO for a major national company and managed his own successful SEO consultancy - using a lot of different SEO tools along the way!