In what appears similar to a Facebook status update feature, Google is now providing the functionality for local businesses to post "status updates" to their "Place Page". They are selling it as a way for businesses to increase interaction with their users, which I believe it will, but they still need to make some system updates.
For businesses to find where to do the status update they may have to do some searching. I will save you some time, they hid it under the view report link on your business listing in the Local Business Center ... Why? I don't know. I am assuming they are going to continue making some major upgrades and they have plans to make navigation and usability a little more functional as well. You can read more about it here on Google's LatLong Blog.
They also announced the addition of a few other things which have been around for a month or two, but are worth mentioning in case you haven't noticed them. They are the badge in the top right corner of the place page that says "Owner-Verified Listing" and the ability to promote Mobile Coupons so someone can just show the business owner the coupon on their phone.