Yahoo contributed to the latest crush of local-related news Dec. 8 by making its refreshed Yahoo Local service available in limited beta for computers and Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones.
The top menu has changed from vertically listed tabs for most popular events and maps. Gone is the old-school, del.icio.us-style tag cloud of Yahoo Buzz.
The refurbished Local Website features top picks, news, things to do (events) and local deals. The content is derived from the community, local blog publishers and Yahoo editors. Any local publisher can participate and contribute content in Yahoo Local through the Yahoo Contributor Network.
Deals should be the biggest draw for the new Yahoo Local, with offers from Freshguide, HomeRun, BloomSpot, Buywithme.com and other local content providers listed down the lefthand side of the page.
Today, there are discounts on massages and other personal wellness services and wine tastings. As is the case with leading coupon Website Groupon, each deal has time expiration counters.
The appeal of such deals is that users will be walking around neighborhoods with their smartphones and can cash in coupons by patronizing nearby restaurants and stores.
These deals come from Local Offers, the service Yahoo unveiled at the Web 2.0 Summit that lets users receive daily deals from Groupon, LivingSocial, Coupons.com and more than a dozen other companies.
Local Offers is Yahoo’s play in the local coupon game, which received a boost from Facebook Deals last month and a measure of added respect after Google failed to buy local deal king Groupon for $6 billion last week.
Yahoo is testing the new service in 30 cities, including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Calif., Mountain View, Calif., Sunnyvale, Calif., New York, Birmingham, Mich., and Royal Oak, Mich.