Google’s Popular Times now tells you how busy a location is in real time

Christian de Looper
Digital Trends
google popular times real time podcasts play search
google popular times real time podcasts play search

Google will soon tell you how busy a location is before you even get there. Popular Times was added by Google as a feature in Search last year to tell you typically how busy a restaurant or coffee shop is at any time during the week, but now that feature will begin providing such information in real time.

In other words, before you head to a restaurant, you’ll be able to see exactly how busy it is, which could help you avoid waiting too long.

More: Google search results on mobile will soon look different from those on a desktop

As was the case before, you’ll see the Popular Times section when you search for a restaurant in Google or Google Maps, but now it’ll show you a “live” look at how busy a business is. And just how does Google know how busy a location is? Google basically uses anonymized location data from our smartphones to estimate how many people might be there at any given time.

As mentioned in a report from TechCrunch, the non real-time feature was generally accurate, but it didn’t take things like special events into consideration. It doesn’t seem as though the new Live feature in Popular Times is live just yet, but it should be in the near future, so sit tight if you can’t see it yet.

Google is working on bringing more and more detailed information to businesses, restaurants, bars, and so on. The company has been asking customers questions after it detects that they visited a location, such as whether or not the business is kid-friendly, serves alcohol, and so on. All this information can be extremely helpful for users, who may want to try something new or make sure that they don’t get stuck somewhere for too long.