Notes Mashable, "Not only has Google beaten Facebook to the punch with its early release of a Places recommendation
engine, it's also giving businesses even more reason to set up Places pages and start thinking about their location-based advertising on Google."
"The tool appears to combine
the best of two worlds: Yelp and its reviews and Foursquare's sharing of someone's location," VentureBeat adds.
So, does that mean big trouble for Yelp and Foursquare?
Well, "One advantage Yelp has going for it is integration with Facebook, which can ease the painful process of trying to construct yet another social graph out of your online connections," writes CNet.
Meanwhile, Foursquare is rumored to be testing its own recommendation feature based on the large
amount of data it has on the businesses its users frequent.
And, as CNet notes, Google hasn't had the best luck with social services. For various reasons, neither Orkut nor Google Latitude nor Google Buzz ever took off. Whether Hotpot is destined to follow the same fate remains to be seen.
"On its own, Hotpot isn't necessarily that different than what's available elsewhere (such as on Urban Spoon, Yelp, and Facebook)," writes Search Engine Land. "But as part of a larger social and local combination (the pieces of which Google mostly has already), it could be very compelling."
Rather than compete directly with, say, Foursquare,
Search Engine Land suggests that Google should partner such a service.