Verizon has taken over a once popular mapping service that all of us loved more than a decade ago, thanks to Google and Apple maps that over-turned and clouded the vision of consumers so they could no longer see what the Denver-based digital mapping service was offering.
MapQuest driving directions: why you haven’t heard from them in a long time
Isn’t MapQuest the very first company that introduced us to turn-by-turn directions back in the 90s? Well, they are here with a big bang, thanks to MapQuest’s acquisition by telecom giant Verizon.
They’ve been around for the last decade, only that they went underground as a result of fierce competition and the fact that they under-estimated mobile traffic. This time round, MapQuest has decided to change its mission.
They’ve already announced their latest re-incarnation. This re-incarnation focuses on luring the average millennium mobile user to focus on its refurbished features. MapQuest is trying to restore a title that it originally possessed – as the leading mapping authority in the country.
According to the vice president of MapQuest, Brian McMahon, the platform had many users in the past. But they’ve now revamped the features of the platform with the intention of asking users who have since left to come back.
The company has launched a brand new logo and overhauled its official website. What’s more, they’ve enhanced their mobile capabilities to keep users within the app, and not bouncing from one app to the next available one.
To enhance more of this one-stop-shopping experience, the company has teamed up with dozens of mobile-heavy outfits like OpenTable, Yelp, Car2Go and Uber.
MapQuest has acknowledged that the way people use digital maps has changed. The maps have been commoditized in the recent years. Users aren’t just looking for utility. There are so many ways they are moving from one point to another in modern times. So instead of expecting users to juggle with so many applications to facilitate their movement, it’s only wise that MapQuest puts everything they need into one-stop-shop experience.
Americans haven’t ignored MapQuest entirely
You might think that MapQuest reduced to oblivion since companies like Google and Apple seized control of the mapping market with their new mobile-friendly features.
It’s unbelievable when you read reports from ComScore Inc stating that MapQuest is in third place after mapping services offered by Google and Apple.
Google has 110.9 million users, followed by Apple which boasts of 51.6 million users. Finally, MapQuest closes in with a wide gap, standing at 23.1 million users.
It is surprising to realize that despite the silence that the company had maintained, it still had millions of users relying on its MapQuest driving directions. These users didn’t care of the fact that they could get something better from other platforms offered by Google and Apple.
So far, the three platforms are said to be growing in favor of mobile users. However, MapQuest is down on desktop, standing at 18%. On the other hand, Google is still up in that department, standing at 22%.
Desktop competition as seen on ComScore Inc reports
Google took a strong lead ahead of MapQuest with 61 million monthly unique visitors to its platform. On the other hand, MapQuest only had 21.6 million monthly visitors. There were no records for Apple since their platform doesn’t support desktop use.
According to the mapping service chief of consumer products Kacy Beitel, MapQuest was gearing up for the challenge in the last 18 months.
Today, the desktop version has embraced the idea of mobile-friendliness, and has everything that a user would want. A typical MapQuest session allows you to view Yelp ratings, make reservations at OpenTable, or even request an Uber ride. All these features have been incorporated into the new MapQuest app to facilitate interactivity.
According to Beitel, 21.6 million desktop visitors is a large number of users. So in a bid to address both desktop and mobile users, the company has decided to revamp its initial desktop version so it can accommodate both users at the same time.
It’s the mobile mentality that is expected to keep the new MapQuest on toes with major competitors in the industry. There is nothing users will lack this time round. There’s opportunity to see what other mapping apps are serving out there. Amid all this, the app is still adding useful details like gas station prices, restaurant reviews and important links to various businesses across the city.
Denver users have the most number of features to use
Unlike in any other city, the new MapQuest service will unleash more features for Denver users.
If you’re searching for MapQuest driving directions, you will be served with many RTD options as well. The modern MapQuest user can now compare numerous driving routes and even pre-determine the time and cost associated with going down those routes.
The Uber and Car2Go features are extremely beneficial in this new setup because they take interactivity to a new whole level. If you love walking, then chances are that you will use MapQuest driving direction feature less often. Instead, you will want to know more about the distance you’ve covered, calories you’ve burned in the process and so on.
Why the new MapQuest service lags behind from competing platforms like Google maps
MapQuest admits that they still can’t measure up to what Google maps do. However, it ensures that it does what it can do really well.
The new mapping service doesn’t offer anything like the 3D views offered by rivals like Google and Apple. They don’t have a feature that works like Google’s street view. Other than driving directions, the app is yet to incorporate riding directions for bikers with rich graphic details.
Again, the new app has customer support lines to help guide users in the event that they end up getting lost.
The company first launched business in 1996 before it was acquired by AOL at a cost of $1.1 billion. Today, MapQuest is under the control of giant telecom company Verizon. Verizon acquired it at the tune of $4.4 billion.
Currently, MapQuest has slightly over 100 employees in its Denver-based office. But it’s looking to expand positions as they expect more users to join the platform. According to Betel, they expect to see a sharp increase in the number of users in the next coming months, thanks to the new features they shall add as days go by.