• France Gets Yelp’s First Non-English Site, Long After Qype

    Local reviews site Yelp has launched a site for France. Yelp France is the startup’s first non-English speaking country. The site can be toggled through French or English. This will be of interest to European player Qype which is bigger than Yelp across Europe. Yelp has claimed one million unique visitors consulted for Yelp UK and Yelp Ireland last month 16 months after launch. Read More

  • Microsoft Taps Into Facebook's Open Graph To Launch

    If Google Docs is about sharing documents and spreadsheets, Microsoft is now fighting back by tapping into the biggest sharing network on the planet: Facebook. Today at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Microsoft is tapping into Facebook to create The app, which was created by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs, is a way for Facebook users to share… Read More

  • AT&T's Yelp-Like Social Local Listings Platform Launches To The Public, 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, is opening up its Yelp-like local recommendations platform to the public. Buzz… Read More

  • Friendticker recycles Foursquare's model for Germany, but with a decent CRM backend

    [Germany] Since Foursquare never officially checked in to Germany, another company has decided to become the local Mayor. The clone company Friendticker came out its beta on Friday with a banging underground party in one of Berlin’s secret club locations. Officially, the business of ruling Germany’s location wars starts today. As is generally widely known, Germany has a very… Read More

  • Class Action Lawyers Declare Victory Over Yelp, Still Want Damages

    Local business review site Yelp is drawing a ton of headlines today as the company has announced a number of changes to the way it conducts business in the wake of several lawsuits that accused the company of extorting businesses to advertise. In a press release distributed earlier this morning, class action lawyers Beck & Lee from Miami and The Weston Firm in San Diego declared victory… Read More

  • Tuenti, Spain's leading social network, switches on local for a location-based future

    Madrid-based Tuenti, sometimes called the Facebook of Spain, has been around for four years now. It’s a very well funded company that, despite a huge growth in user numbers and a number of product releases, has been getting some bad press on their lack of monetization and for not having a clear direction – though if you follow the product releases and the company’s hiring… Read More

  • Tellmewhere revamps iPhone app, prepares for US expansion

    [France] Social location-based search service Tellmewhere or Dismoioù has released a new version of its iPhone app as part of its quest to conquer local markets. The Paris-based startup is also preparing for US expansion later this year. The company’s current platform – a personalized local search engine – grew out of a former wiki map project, officially launched in 2008. Read More

  • Complaints Against Yelp's "Extortion" Practices Grow Louder

    Complaints Against Yelp's "Extortion" Practices Grow Louder

    Yelp has been hit with another lawsuit, the third in a matter of a few weeks. Similar to the previous complaints, this lawsuit filed by Boris Levitt, the owner of Renaissance Furniture Restoration in San Francisco, claims that Yelp’s “unfair and unethical conduct in promoting, marketing and advertising its website as maintaining unbiased reviews” is unlawful and hurt his… Read More

  • Yelp Hit With Second Extortion Lawsuit, CEO Calls It Meritless

    Last week, we reported on a class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleging that Yelp was running an “extortion scheme”. Today, the company has just gotten slapped by a second, similar suit, this time coming from the D’ames Day Spa of San Diego County, which is accusing Yelp of removing many positive reviews because the spa declined to run ads on the site. In a very… Read More

  • Google, Nokia sniffing around local business review site Qype

    Hamburg, Germany based Qype, a Yelp-like site that’s focused on European markets, has recently had long acquisition looks from both Google and Nokia, we’ve heard from multiple sources. A deal with Nokia in particular was looking extremely likely until recently. The site was first launched in 2005 and today attracts 9 million monthly worldwide visitors, according to Comscore, just… Read More

  • Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For Running An "Extortion Scheme"

    Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For Running An "Extortion Scheme"

    Two law firms, Beck & Lee from Miami and The Weston Firm in San Diego, have filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court alleging unfair business practices by local business review and rating website operator Yelp. The plaintiff in the suit, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, CA, is said to have requested that Yelp remove a negative review from the website, which was… Read More

  • San Quentin State Prison On Yelp: 3 Stars, Horrible Food

    No one likes the food at San Quentin State Prison. That’s the gist I get from reading its reviews on Yelp. Yes, it’s on Yelp. Maybe this shouldn’t be all that surprising since there is a museum that you can take a tour of (and they occasionally do private tours). But if you read over the reviews, a number of them are from people who have family inside or have been in themselves. Read More

  • If Google Wave Is The Future, Google Buzz Is The Present

    If Google Wave Is The Future, Google Buzz Is The Present

    See our live notes from today’s Google Buzz event here. Google has a problem. Despite having their hands in just about everything online, they’ve never been able to tackle what is a key part of the fabric of the web: social. Yes, they have Orkut and OpenSocial, but no one actually uses them. Okay, some people use them, but not in the meaningful social ways that people use Facebook… Read More

  • Citysearch Unleashes CityGrid, A Massive Local Advertising And Content Network

    The momentum around local online advertising is growing, especially with the expansion of the Web to mobile devices and flowering of Geo-mobile apps which need a way to make money. Today, Citysearch is throwing its hat into the local advertising ring with the launch of CityGrid, a set of APIs which makes all of Citysearch’s local listings content and advertising available to other… Read More

  • Loopt To Start Pushing Check-In Specials Hard Using A New App And Facebook

    When Loopt released its iPhone app alongside the App Store launch in 2008, it seemed to have everything going for it. Founder Sam Altman was given time on stage at WWDC to show off the app. It was featured prominently in the App Store for a while. And it was really one of the first hot location-based services. But then it cooled off, partially because the app needed to be open to update… Read More

  • Tagcrumbs lands on iPhone – social bookmarking for places

    [Germany] Berlin-based Tagcrumbs wants to be the YouTube for places, although a much more apt comparison might be Delicious. The location-based service, which on the surface competes with usual suspects Foursquare, Yelp, Gowalla and Germany’s own Dailyplaces, enables users to bookmark, tag and share places. This week Tagcrumbs debuted its iPhone app (iTunes link), which takes advantage… Read More

  • Yelp Taking Big Investment From Elevation Partners

    Yelp, fresh off of leaving Google at the altar, is closing a hefty fifth round of financing from Elevation Partners, say multiple sources. The deal isn’t closed yet, says one source, but the guys at Elevation Partners have been telling friends that it’s a done deal. The size of the rounds is in the $50 million range, but includes both a primary investment component as well as a… Read More

  • Foursquare Not Flattered By Yelp Check-Ins

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But Foursquare doesn’t seem too tickled by Yelp’s newest feature. On Friday, Yelp fired a major shot across the bow of the location-based services with the launch of the latest version of its iPhone app. The app’s big new feature is the ability to check-in at venues in cities, which is of course exactly what Foursquare is built around. Read More

  • Hyperlocal Business Directory MerchantCircle Signs Up Millionth Merchant

    Hyperlocal business directory MerchantCircle has been steadily growing as an online network and business directory for merchants in smaller towns to advertise to consumers. MerchantCircle has long targeted its site’s features towards merchants versus catering towards the consumer, as sites like Yelp and CitySearch do. Today, the network has hit a milestone by signing up its one… Read More

  • Wahanda Aims To Become Yelp-Meets-Groupon-For-Health

    We first covered Wahanda, a social network for people who use spas and other “wellness” products, way, way back in 2008 but they’ve been busy. After raising £1.5 million to become the ‘Amazon of wellness’ it’s now built the world’s biggest vertical database of health and beauty spas via their Yelp-like social network. Wahanda now has 10,000 venues… Read More

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