Yahoo! has decided to put its hat into the location based services ring by becoming the latest web-based company to introduce a local deals platform.
At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, the company formally announced its Local Offers Program. With Local Offers, Yahoo! has teamed up with several partners, including location based services industry leader Groupon, to build a repository of local offers on the internet. Yahoo! says the service is in beta testing and will be made available in the near future.
The local landscape is exploding with new sources of content and advertising, and consumers want these experiences personalized just for them. Yahoo! is taking the complexity out of finding the great local deals that are most relevant to their interests and needs, Matt Idema, vice president, Yahoo! Local, said in a statement.
With more than 180 million unique visitors to Yahoo!'s sites in the U.S., we are uniquely positioned to deliver our local-offer partners the massive scale and targeting needed to reach engaged audiences, grow their businesses, and drive foot traffic to local merchants.
While the company announced 16 specific partners upon launch, Yahoo! said Local Offers will be open to all deal providers. It said it will work with both local deal of the day providers as well as traditional direct marketing firms.
Local Offers was just one of Yahoo!'s many new services announced at the event in an attempt to keep up with rivals Google and Facebook. The company also announced its integrating micro-blogging site Twitter and bringing products from social gaming company Zynga to Yahoo! as part of a new social gaming feature called Yahoo! Messenger Beta. The service will allow users to play social games, such as the ones offered by Zynga, share their Twitter and Facebook statuses across networks and integrate other social networking services into one platform.
Our job is to connect you with the people, places and things that matter most to you - whether that's making a restaurant reservation, finding a discounted tee time, or playing popular online games with friends, Blake Irving, executive vice president and chief product officer, Yahoo!, said in a statement. By enhancing Yahoo!'s most popular sites and services with social experiences like Zynga and Twitter, great local content, and a new platform for sharing your voice with the world, we're making Yahoo! an even better place for everyone to stay entertained, productive, and informed.
The company also said it improved its search platform to make it more localized for users.