Apple Integration Overview | Yext Hitchhikers Platform
This article provides an overview of the integration between Yext and Apple, as well as requirements for syncing content from Yext to Apple Maps and Siri.
Apple’s Business Connect APIs allow data sync to Apple Maps via Apple Business Connect accounts. This data will appear on Apple Listings, which are referred to as place cards on Apple Maps.
To manage one or more place cards on Apple Maps, you must either work with a trusted Apple partner like Yext who has integrated with the Apple Business Connect APIs or set up your own Apple Business Connect account and manage your location data manually.
Benefits of Linking your Account with Yext
First, data in a Business Connect account that’s linked with Yext will likely take precedence over data in a self-managed Business Connect account. This means that if Apple received data for a given entity from two sources, Apple would give preference to the business’ data over the partner data (even if the data is the same). By creating your own Business Connect account and delegating access to Yext, your data has a better chance of appearing on Apple Maps exactly how you want it.
Second, linking your account is a prerequisite for features like Apple Showcase Posting, Apple analytics, or cover photo syncing. To gain access to these features within the Yext platform via Apple’s API, you must link your account with Yext.
Finally, it’s easier to make updates at scale. If you manage your locations in Apple directly, you can only make updates to one location at a time. If you manage data within Yext you can take bulk actions to update more efficiently.
Apple Business Connect Accounts
Within Apple Business Connect accounts, there is an important hierarchy of related objects that help organize how entities are stored. These three objects are: Company, Business, and Location. Not every account will use all of these objects.
As we explain each object, we will also walk through an example using the Turtlehead Tacos business — Turtlehead Tacos operates two brands in two countries each with a varying number of operating locations.
Company is the highest level object that encompasses your entire organization and all locations. Each company should have one Business Connect account that stores all of their data to be put on Apple Maps.
In our example, the Turtlehead Taco business would have one ‘Turtlehead Tacos’ company in Apple Business Connect.
Business is the next highest level. A business is a sub-brand of the larger company. A given Business Connect account might not have any businesses in it. This would only occur if the account operates multiple brands.
In our example, Turtlehead Tacos would have four businesses, one for each brand-country combination.
The lowest level object is Location, which, as its name suggests, simply refers to each physical location you want to list on Apple Maps. Each place expected to have a listing on Apple Maps would be a location. If a given location operates under a specific brand and country of the business, the location would be placed in that business’ folder.
In our example, Turtlehead Tacos may have hundreds of locations across their business units and countries.
Overall, Turtlehead Tacos would have:
- One Company
- Four Businesses (one for each brand-country combination)
- Multiple Locations distributed between the four business folders (for each individual location)
Listings Sync Process
By default, Yext will sync your locations of all categories to Apple using Yext’s Business Connect account. This enables you to create new listings, and update existing Apple listings through Yext.
Additionally, if you want to access Apple Showcase posting, Apple Analytics, and the ability to sync additional fields such as an Apple Cover Photo, you will need to link your Apple Business Account with Yext.
Note: The ability to link your Apple Business Account is only available for customers with 25 locations or more.
Once your account is linked, you will be able to take advantage of all functionality available as part of Yext’s integration with Apple. This includes:
- Showcase Posting
- Ability to update Cover Photo
- Highest data priority
Previously delegated businesses: If you have previously delegated Yext access and have not linked your Apple Business Connect account with Yext, you will need to share Yext access with any new businesses. If you link your Apple Business Connect account with Yext, access will be shared with Yext automatically.
Fields That Sync to Apple
- Business Name
- Apple Business Description*
- Phone Number
- Business Attributes
- Walking and Driving Coordinates
- Gallery Photos
- Payment Methods
- Cover Photos (requires linked account)
- Action Links**
*The Apple Business Description field is the only description field that syncs to Apple and has a 500-character limit. This is mapped to the “About” field on Apple. The general Description field in Yext does not sync with Apple.
Showcase Social Posting
Apple allows data sync in most countries. For a list of supported countries for data sync, visit the Publishers search vertical. For a list of supported countries for Apple Showcase Posting, visit the reference documentation.
Timeline and SLA
- It can take up to 5 days for Apple to verify the creation of a new Business Connect account, and 3 days to verify a business folder within an account.
- Once an Apple Business Connect account is created, you can link your account with Yext at any time.