Google 'Popular Times' Feature In Search And Maps Now Gives You A Heads-Up To Avoid Holiday Shopping Hordes

Turkey massacre day is right around the corner. So is Black Friday, the annual shopping bonanza that turns otherwise well behaving citizens into rabid beasts with an insatiable thirst for savings and a total disregard for their fellow man, woman, or child. The frenzy will continue to some extent throughout the holiday shopping season, though Google is doing its part to make things a little less hectic by providing data of how crowded a particular place is at any given point in time.

This is a real-time upgrade to Google's Popular Times feature introduced to Google Search and Maps last year. Popular Times has been helping shoppers and people who like to go out to eat by showing how busy a place typically tends to be during different times of the week, but it lacked real-time stats for a more relevant snapshot. Not anymore.

Google Popular Times

"Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we're adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go. Whether you’re rushing to pick up a last minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive," Google stated in a blog post.

Black Friday tends to be on the crazy side in terms of foot traffic, though adding real-time stats could perhaps be more beneficial after the initial holiday rush.

In addition to the real-time stats upgrade, Google is fleshing things out with department and service hours, along with a stat that shows how long people typically stay at a given location. The idea is that shoppers will be better equipped to plan their shopping itinerary up to the minute.