The social networking site MySpace.com has joined forces with online guidebook Citysearch.com to launch MySpace Local. It is an online directory that allows users to rate, review and share information on small businesses in local areas.
The site, which launched for select MySpace users, includes content from Citysearch's database of stores, restaurants, bars and area hot spots. The site enables users to search for information on a specific business or browse by category and neighborhood.
Businesses each have profile pages that include basic information, such as address, map, hours, products, menus, etc., as well as user ratings and reviews. MySpace, which is owned by News Corp., and IAC/InterActiveCorp's Citysearch plan to eventually allow businesses to add personalized videos to their profile pages.
Visitors to the site will also be able to view and share the ratings and reviews of others. Profile pages will let users keep track of their own activity on the site, while an activity feed will display the newest reviews, ratings or picks from either their friends or the MySpace community at large.
"MySpace is about the discovery of content and culture through the lens of your friends," said MySpace chief executive Chris DeWolfe, in a statement. The new site, he said, is in line with the company's larger content strategy.
The site allows small businesses to advertise in the networking site's MyAds platform. It allows advertisers to allocate how much to spend, from $25 to $10,000, on advertising targeted by geography, demographics, and interests.
The alliance comes amid a growing effort by small businesses to jump on the social networking bandwagon. Nearly a third of companies plan to increase their social media marketing budgets this year, according to a March report by the Aberdeen Group, and eMarketer estimates social network advertising will increase 17 percent this year, to $2.4 billion.
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