Yahoo! Announces Local Search, Social Media Enhancements

Yahoo! is getting more heavily involved in local search, as PC World reports that the search giant has launched a program called Local Offers which will offer Yahoo! users special deals targeted to their demographic market. According to a Yahoo! press release, initial partners for Local Offers include Groupon, LivingSocial and Coupons.com.

Yahoo! also announced new local search enhancements, including new “Quick Apps” features designed to allow people to hone in on local areas of interest during searches. A new Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search feature will let people visually narrow down search results for popular destinations like restaurants. Other local search enhancements will let people compare local restaurants and let people make reservations through OpenTable right on the Yahoo! Search results page.

In addition to expanding local search, Yahoo! also announced new social media products and services. A new global rollout of Yahoo! Messenger allows users to play social games from publishers like Zynga, ELEX and OMGPOP, share their status across networks, and view, comment on, and “like” updates from Yahoo! Pulse, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.

“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,” said Blake Irving, executive vice president and chief product officer, Yahoo!. “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.”

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