In a similar position is Citysearch. As we have discussed here in the recent past Citysearch is working to update and expand its offerings to a much larger audience. The competition that is coming up in the rear view mirror for these guys are the likes of Yelp!.
So what makes sense for two long time players in their respective verticals who are maybe starting to show their age? Combine forces of course. As reported by cnet, the new MySpace Local will
be rooted in existing listings from Citysearch (restricted to major U.S. cities) that are souped up with social features like the ones that you might see on a band or celebrity’s MySpace page (photos, videos, comments, and the like). It’s launching with just “restaurants,” “bars,” and “nightlife” categories, but will eventually expand–and it’ll only be available to a select number of users this week before rolling out to the rest of MySpace’s U.S. users.
One feature is seeing reviews of these places from actual friends. The contention is that anonymous reviews carry less meaning than those that come from a trusted and known source. Can’t say I can argue that point.
Down the line is the possibility of seeing reviews from celebrities, influencers and all around cool people. Considering the age of most MySpace users this could be interesting to them. Will it attract new users to MySpace? No way to tell but who wouldn’t be interested in having someone like Plaxico Burress tell us where the best nightclub to shoot yourself in the leg is in New York City?
Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace, said that
research showed about 50 percent of active Citysearch users have MySpace profiles that they check at least once a month. “There is healthy overlap, but there is also a healthy new audience to be reached”
That’s an interesting statistic but even with our jaded view of what is actually social it seems that using the benchmark of viewing a site at least once a month is not exactly setting a high bar. If you visit any site just once a month do you really care what’s going on there?
As with all pairings like these, only time will tell if there will be benefit for either party. One thing is certain though. Neither one of these Internet stalwarts are standing still but can they overcome the new breed of social media sites that can afford to be very selective on who they partner with? The likes of Facebook and Twitter are growing despite themselves at times. That’s hard to compete with for sure.