Yahoo! Gets Hyper-Local

Here at Yahoo! we are constantly redefining how people experience and interact with content on the Web.  Users today want to go beyond words presented on the screen. They want videos. They want social activity. They want it anywhere and anytime. People also want all of this to be local and personally relevant, while also being able to interact and participate in the creation of the content.

Today, we are excited to make the new Yahoo! Local available in limited beta. With rich hyper-local content, this new product provides people a truly personalized experience across desktop and mobile (currently available via the mobile web on iPhone and Android), enabling them to discover and contribute to the best local news, deals, and events nearby, all in one place.

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Our goal with the new Yahoo! Local is to be the best place for people to find what’s happening in their neighborhoods, whether they're at home or on the go.  As some of you may have noticed, we’re beta testing the experience in more than 30 neighborhoods and cities in the U.S., including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Brooklyn, NY as well as Birmingham, Ferndale, and Royal Oak in Michigan. We did this so that we can evolve the product quickly and enhance it based on a cross-section of user feedback and insights. You can access the new experience from your desktop or mobile phone by visiting: http://beta.local.yahoo.com.

Giving You the Best Local News and Information

When it comes to the best local news and information, we’re delivering relevant hyper-local neighborhood and city content created by the community, local publishers, and Yahoo! editors.  We’re featuring content from the best local blogs and newspapers.  And through a completely open ecosystem, we’re making it possible for any local publisher to be part of the new Yahoo! Local. By leveraging the power of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, the entire community can participate and publish stories on topics that matter to them. Individuals and organizations can also add events that are relevant to the local community.

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Saving Money in Your Area

We are also fulfilling our commitment to personal relevance by delivering the best locally relevant offers from nearby spas, restaurants, and retailers – helping you save some cash while you support local businesses. This new hyper-local experience integrates our recently launched Local Offers program to provide consumers quick, easy access to the widest selection of local deals and offers from partners such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt City, BloomSpot and more.

Convergence of Content and Advertising

There is a unique intersection between the content users find useful and what marketers want to advertise – especially in a local experience – and we recognize that. With the new Yahoo! Local we are fundamentally changing how users will interact with local content, including advertising. As we build out the experience, we’re exploring and experimenting with various advertising solutions that will enable our advertising partners to reach their target users.

What’s Under the Hood

Technology is at the heart of everything we do at Yahoo! This experience leverages our powerful geo-informatics and content enrichment platforms, including Where On Earth (WOE) and Placemaker, to identify and geo-tag every news story that appears on every page down to the neighborhood level.

During the coming weeks and months, you will see us continually improve and expand our new hyper-local product by rolling it out to more neighborhoods and cities and adding new features that will make this the best local starting point for our users.

Take the experience for a spin around the neighborhood and tell us what you think. Stay tuned for much more from the new Yahoo! Local.

Matt Idema

VP, Yahoo! Local