AT&T Launches YP.com as Webby Complement to Yellowpages.com

AT&T Interactive today launched a beta version of YP.com, a website that won’t be heavily promoted but will add cutting edge features to searches, such as expandable local maps in results, aggregated SMB content, and videos, coupons and other promotions. AT&T bought the URL for $3.85 million from LiveDeal in January 2009. A company blog post notes that YP.Com Beta … Read more

Zillow to Buy Trulia; Will Pursue Twin Brand Strategy

Zillow is buying Trulia, its chief rival, for $3.5 Billion in stock. The two companies – both nine years old — have a lot of overlap currently. But after the deal closes in 2015, they will seek to develop two differentiated marketplaces for real estate-related information, which includes house sales, rentals, mortgage and related national and local … Read more

Home Advisor’s Chris Terrill: Poised for Growth, New Services

Almost two years ago, IAC was in a tough situation. It had a leading services referral business in ServiceMagic, whose main rival was Angie’s List, the paid subscription service. But the service wasn’t growing; had relatively low brand awareness; and seemed to be in danger of getting bypassed by a new crop of social media … Read more

Amazon Buys Teach Street, Folds it into Amazon Local

Amazon.com, which is moving in multiple directions vis a vis local, has agreed to buy TeachStreet, the service for matching teachers and students. Amazon’s interest appears to be less in TeachStreet than in the underlying ecommerce platform for SMBs. The platform already is being used by The Washington Post for its Service Alley SMB leads service. TeachStreet had raised just over … Read more

DMS ’11 Takeways: Consolidate and Verticalize

We’re over it by now. Yellow Pages aren’t universally used anymore, or as frequently used; and that there is a lot of competition for driving small business sales. But at BIA/Kelsey’s DMS ’11 Summit last week in Denver, one walked away with a real appreciation of the foundational role that Yellow Pages still play in … Read more

Localized Social Network for Girls Launches

Jitter Fingers, a social network for teen and “tween” girls looking for a secure and focused environment (i.e. away from the predators that lurk in MySpace), has launched a local beta version in Los Angeles. It expects to eventually launch up to 300 localized versions. Founder Allen Esrock, a longtime tech headhunter – and the father of … Read more

All-Star Lineup at Marketplaces 2010, March 22-24, San Diego

Marketplaces 2010 takes place just 7 weeks from now in San Diego (March 22-24). We are putting the finishing touches on the program, and have added MANY exciting new speakers in just the past few weeks. The event is totally dedicated to the higher value/conversion/engagement ethos of vertical media. For sure, this isn’t one size fits … Read more

Google Buys Zagat: Reviews Platform is the Focus

Google’s march into local reached another milestone today with the acquisition of Zagat, a major, international provider of high end restaurant and lifestyle reviews in 100+ cities. Zagat remains a major player in a reviews space it pioneered in 1979. In addition to hosting its patented “30 point” reviews from some 350,000 “surveyors.” Zagat has a … Read more

Thumbtack’s Heady Goal: To Build ‘The Largest’ Service Marketplace

The new breed of lead providers for services appears to have slowed down. While Angie’s List is all over the air waves, building its consumer base for an expected IPO, and ServiceMagic is performing well for IAC, and expanding, not much has been heard from such new companies as RedBeacon, Cox’s Kudzu, Likelist, HelpHive , Sears’ ServiceLive, and Thumbtack. For at least some of … Read more