ChaCha Gets Into The Local Business Listings Game

Mobile question and answer startup ChaCha is on a roll, possibly achieving profitability, raising boatloads of money, and even venturing into social media with a Facebook app. Today, ChaCha is getting into the business listings game with local business search company Localeze. Localeze will provide ChaCha’s website with in-depth information about more than 15 million businesses across the country. visitors can access the local business listings in a search bar and through a direct listings page. In both cases, they will be served a full content page that includes Google maps, directions, phone, and other contact information. And of course, any questions and answers related to the business can be found on the content pages. Business listings can also be viewed by category and or state and city. Eventually, ChaCha’s listings will be integrated with its site.

The local business listings feature makes sense, as ChaCha realizes the importance of local content for both its mobile application and website. Localeze also helps power local business listings for Microsoft Bing’s Bing Local and Bing 411. ChaCha also recently rolled out its API, allowing developers to tap into the startup’s database with of questions and answers. ChaCha’s recently launched Facebook App allows individuals pose a question to any friends within their social network and ChaCha returns an answer from its database of hundreds of millions of answers. Users can also select “add to profile” to get a permanent “Ask ChaCha” prompt on their profile pages.

Launched in 2007, ChaCha started as a human powered search engine – meaning a human found you answers when you typed in a query. ChaCha encountered the high cost of hiring humans to basically do Google searches and return results to people but then evolved into a mobile version of the service that lets users ask questions via SMS. The site also archives questions and answers on their website, with 500 million of them currently listed on the ChaCha site. ChaCha is answering one million questions a day via SMS, passing Google as the no. 1 SMS search service according to Nielsen Mobile.