Buzz.com, AT&T’s take on socializing local business listings, has received a considerable amount of press, even though the site has been in private beta. And thanks to sharing a name with Google’s recently launched social communications tool, Buzz has received even more attention. Today, Buzz.com is opening up its Yelp-like local recommendations platform to the public.
Buzz, which implements Facebook Connect to tap into your social graph, aims to personalize local search, based on the recommendations of people they know and trust. On the site, you can “Heart” your faves and build a personal list of favorites bars, restaurants and businesses. You can also add a Twitter-like comment to any recommended listing.
The central feature of buzz.com, is personal search. When you search for a business or listing, you can see how many of your friends, friends of friends, and the entire buzz.com network have recommended or “faved” each spot. Business listings are leveraged from AT&T’s business directory, YellowPages.com
You can also ask fellow Buzz members questions about by asking a question about where to go to dinner, which bar to frequent and more. You can publish these questions to your Facebook wall or on Buzz.com.
Now that the site is open to the public, it should be interesting to see if it can actually attract users and take on the leaders in the space, Yelp and Citysearch. The site seems like it could also compete with Facebook, but AT&T has said in past reports that it doesn’t want to re-create a social network.