Yahoo Nov. 16 introduced Local Offers, a bid to rival Facebook Deals, Foursquare deals and Google Places. Also on tap: integrations with Twitter and Zynga, as well as new search tools.
Nov. 16 rolled out a number of new features for applications spanning search,
instant messaging and mobile applications as it seeks to lure more users from
Google, Facebook and other Internet rivals.
But the most interesting piece of news was the vague introduction of Yahoo
Local Offers, an effort to take advantage of the intersection of users
conducting searches for local businesses from their mobile phones and get
Yahoo has partnered with Groupon, LivingSocial, Coupons.com and more than a
dozen other companies to surface deals and coupons from restaurants, spas and
local clothing shops, said Matt Idema, vice president of Yahoo Local, during a
media event at the Web 2.0 Summit here.
The service is being bucket tested. Users will know if they see the test if
they see a tab on the Yahoo Home page offering "deals for you," based
on Yahoo's knowledge of the user and what is locally relevant to him or her.
Exactly how these tests will take shape has yet to play out, acknowledged
Idema and Blake Irving, executive vice president and chief product officer at
Idema said partners would share revenue generated from any local business
deals consummated by consumers through Local Offers. Local Offers is open to
all deal providers in the United States,
including local "deal of the day" partners and traditional
Local Offers follows in the footsteps on Foursquare's check-in offers and Facebook Deals, which lets users check into stores and shops
from Facebook Places to claim deals from Gap, Starbucks and others. Google Places, meanwhile, lets advertisers call out deals with
Tags for $25 per month.
Irving also discussed several
other product iterations, including the first integrations
with Twitter and Zynga.
Yahoo users worldwide may now connect their Yahoo and Twitter accounts to
see and share Twitter updates on the Yahoo home page, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo
Mail and Yahoo Pulse. This parallels Yahoo's existing deal with Facebook, which has now been integrated with
Also, people can now launch, play and share the Mafia Wars and FishVille
games from Zynga on Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Games, My Yahoo, Yahoo Toolbar and
Yahoo may have given up on search monetization, but it still has a search
engine to feed, albeit served by Microsoft Bing. New Quick Apps will help
people find restaurants they want.
An improved Sketch-a-Search app is available across PCs, Apple iPhones and
iPads. Users may also now make reservations through OpenTable right on the
Yahoo Search results page.
The new Yahoo Messenger beta lets users play social games from Zynga, ELEX
and OMGPOP; share their status across networks; and view, comment on and
"like" updates from Yahoo Pulse, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. Yahoo
Messenger also works with Facebook Chat.