GLENDALE, Calif., April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Do you have a new favorite restaurant you'd love to recommend to your friends? Or maybe you need a recommendation for a new dentist? Today, there's a new option for sharing local tips with your friends – buzz.com from AT&T Interactive. Buzz.com is opening its early-access beta program to the public today, after an invite-only period.
Social networks have become a central part of many people's lives. According to Nielsen(i), in 2009, 82 percent more time was spent on social networking sites than in 2008. Buzz.com lets users tap those growing social networks – starting with their friends on Facebook – to discover, share and store recommendations for great local businesses. That means there's no need to build a new community of friends or sift through rants and raves from strangers. Instead, buzz.com offers users a personalized version of local search, based on the recommendations of people they know and trust.
"We recognize that people are already having conversations online about the best places to go and businesses to call. Buzz.com makes it even easier to discover the businesses your friends recommend," said buzz.com General Manager Charles Hornberger. "Although the site is still in beta, we're very excited to open it up to anyone who wants to see how we're approaching 'social search' for the local marketplace."
Sharing and finding local favorites on buzz.com is easy:
- Favorite: "Heart" your faves – whether it's a restaurant, plumber or golf course – to build a personal list of favorites. Add a 160 character comment and tags so that friends know exactly why you love it. Think of it as social bookmarking for your local world.
- Search: On buzz.com, search is personal. When you search for local businesses, services or places, you immediately see how many of your friends, friends of friends, and the entire buzz.com network have faved each spot. It's a source of trusted recommendations that may become your new personal favorites.
- Ask and Answer: Start a conversation with friends on buzz.com or the social network that you already socialize with them on – by asking a question. Whether they answer on buzz.com or on your Facebook Wall, you can read, reply with a question or comment, and revisit the recommendations later. Reciprocate by answering friends' questions, too.
"We've developed buzz.com with a strong foundation influenced by AT&T Interactive's leadership and success in local search," said David Krantz, president and CEO of AT&T Interactive. "By offering buzz.com alongside our other local search properties like YP.COM, we create opportunity to reach a broader – and growing user segment that relies on their community to make decisions. For favorited businesses, it means immediate recognition of a loyal customer and positive exposure among a network of friends."
Buzz.com is accessible at m.buzz.com on select smart phones so users can access friends' favorites while on the go. Users can expect additional mobile options as the buzz.com team taps AT&T mobile app development capabilities through the recent Plusmo acquisition.
At its core, buzz.com leverages the same foundational assets that YP.COM uses to connect millions of users and businesses. Over 21 million business listings, AT&T mobile assets, local business advertiser insight and 5,000+ local market sales counselors contribute to AT&T Interactive's footprint in the local search industry - and commitment to evolving the experience for consumers and advertisers.
(i) Nielsenwire, "Led by Facebook, Twitter, Global Time Spent on Social Media Sites up 82% Year over Year," Jan. 22, 2010
About AT&T Interactive
AT&T Interactive, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc, is an industry leader in creating local search products and services that encourage consumers to discover local and engage with businesses across the devices and interactive platforms they use most - including online, mobile, and TV. AT&T Interactive's publisher network offers extended distribution to up to 54 million monthly unique visitors.*
* comscore Feb 2010 Yellowpages.com Network - Potential Reach Unified Measurement
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse(SM) and AT&T | DIRECTV(SM) brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.
Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATTNews. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ATT to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at www.facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz to discover more about our small business services.
© 2010 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.