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Google+ Local incorporates recent Zagat acquisition

Google today rolled out an update to Google+ that incorporates the company's September acquisition of Zagat.

Google+ Local is the company's newest social integration, and creates "one simple experience across Google", Avni Shah, director of Google's product management wrote in a blog post.

Google+ Local replaces the Google Places page and integrates the company's purchase of rating company Zagat. Local allows for a quick scan of local restaurants, stores, and entertainment hubs, along with free Zagat scores and short reviews.

Last July, Google updated its Places page to make it easier to access information and reviews. Now, any effort to reach Places leaves two options: visit Google+ Local or venture into Google Places for Business.

All Google+ Local places are scored using Zagat's 30-point scale, and include advice from people already in your Google+ Circles.

"Your friends know what you like, and they probably like the same things you do", Shah wrote. "That's why the opinions of people in your circles are front and centre."

The Local link is positioned on the left-hand sidebar, where users can browse, click and visit the local Google+ page with more information and reviews from friends.

Users can add input and photos to any Google+ Local place.

The new feature blends with Google's search and maps functions, as well as its mobile products and online with Google+. An Android app is available from the Google Play store, and an iOS version be released soon, Shah said.

Zagat, which operates in more than 100 cities, previously charged $24.95 (£16) per year, or $4.95 (£3) per month, for access to its content, according to PaidContent. Now that the paywall is down, visitors to can register with Google+ and view all reviews for free.

Google isn't finished building new features, though. The Internet mogul announced on its blog that users will see more updates in the coming months, including an upgrade to Google Places for Business.

Earlier this month, Google released a new version of its Google+ for Android app with a new user interface, and changes for its Hangout video chat feature.