You won’t hear us (or Google) talking about Google Hotpot anymore. The company has announced that the Hotpot name is a thing of the past, and the ratings and review experience is being formally added into Google Places.
While you can still access Hotpot right now at www.google.com/hotpot, that URL will eventually redirect to Google Places. And the branding is already underway, with the Google Places logo replacing the Hotpot logo in the upper left.
Google says nothing about Hotpot’s functionality is changing. You’ll still see your friends’ recommendations in Google.com local/Places search results, on Google Maps and so forth.
Hotpot has been part of Google Places for some time now — users can rate and review businesses right from a Place Page (although sometimes with difficulty due to Hotpot requiring a separate profile). Hotpot was also integrated into the Google Places iPhone app when it was announced in January.
Just a few weeks ago, Google’s Marissa Mayer admitted that the company has too many local products, needs to condense them, and said “Hotpot is a feature of Places.” That’s certainly the case going forward.