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Google is now into the beta testing stages of their new Google Maps feature; “sponsored map icons”. These icons will show specific brand icons on Google Maps instead of the generic ones.

This feature is starting with Bank of America, HSBC, Target and Public Storage.

Google originally tested this feature on their Australian version of Google Maps, back in March. The aim is to help users easier locate which brands they are looking for.

Companies with a sponsored icon will be charged on a cost per impression model; they will then only be charged by Google when their icon is viewed by users. Advertisers have no influence on when their logo shows up.

Google plans to make this feature appear on the iPhone version of Google Maps, and also on the mobile version, including Android.