Yahoo revealed a hint about upgrading its mobile app strategy Feb. 12 when Yelp-like consumer application Alike announced in a blog post that it is being acquired to join the search engine's Mobile team. Terms of the deal were not released.
Alike enables users to recommend nearby businesses as their favorites, similar to Yelp and Facebook's tagging feature. Alike then aggregates and ranks these recommendations based on how "alike" they are to other user search queries.
After a user visits a business, the app then allows them to provide feedback about whether they think one place is like another. Individual vendor pages provide additional detail that includes address, phone number, email address and hours of operation. Users can bookmark their favorites.
Yahoo, like Facebook, Google and other Web services advertising companies, needs to better monetize the properties it owns by building out a body of consumer information it can slice and dice for analytics purposes. Acquiring and using a hyper-local service application such as Alike fits into that category.
Like Facebook, Google and other Web service advertisers, Yahoo is focusing on adding mobile functionality. CEO Marissa Mayer said previously that she is on the lookout to acquire companies that can add localized value in that area. Alike fits this strategy perfectly.
Yahoo acquired video platform OnTheAir in December and Snip.it last month. The company has also upgraded its mobile email lineup with new iPhone, Android, and Windows 8 apps.
"We've always been passionate about the growing power of intelligent mobile experiences," the Alike Team corporate blog post read. "We believe that distilled information, deeply personalized and made accessible anytime and anywhere, is what makes mobile experiences a part of our customers' daily lives.
"In Yahoo we've found a team as excited about this vision as we are, and who are serious about making it real."
As of Feb. 12, Alike said it will no longer support the Alike Nearby iPhone and Web apps.