Citysearch Tightens Relationship With Social Media

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The momentum around local and mobile search continues to grow. After working on a tighter integration with social media, Citysearch finally launched Twitter and Facebook feeds into the listing to provide people who come to the Web site with the ability to get news and reviews about a specific local business in real time through status updates and live tweets.

An increase in merchants providing social data has prompted Citysearch to create a directory page and browse on the site for businesses that have a social presence. A click on the Twitter and Facebook directory link brings people into the real-time data experience within the site.

The tools let visitors search by all businesses, as well as drill down to Restaurants, Bars and Clubs, Hotels, Shopping or Spa & Beauty. Links also take the site visitor from the Citysearch page to either the local businesses' Twitter or Facebook account. The listing also provides easy access to reviews.

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"We see lots of content coming in from the Twitter module on all our profile pages, so this says to us that the tool is something people and merchants are receptive to using," says Michael Francesconi, director of community at Citysearch. "We do send people direct to the merchants' Twitter and Facebook pages, too."

The tool runs a Twitter buzz module, which takes real-time information about specific merchants and displays it in a scrolling feed on the site. Francesconi says as more social media features are added to Citysearch, merchants become more careful and active about adding company information and keeping it updated.

Late last month, Citysearch released local advertising with CityGrid, a set of APIs that makes all of Citysearch's local listings content and advertising available to other Web sites and mobile applications. The APIs support more than 500,000 local advertisers, 15 million local business listings, and three million user reviews.

The tool has been in the works for several years. Citysearch made content and advertisers available to third parties, such as small publishers and mobile developers, through an API.

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