MySpace, Citysearch after local advertising


myspace_small.jpgADOTAS — A new MySpace site, MySpace Local, will combine Citysearch listings, addresses, photos, menus, videos, maps and hours, with the social network community.

MySpace Local is working with a test group of users to enlist a first round of review, and it will beta launch for all users nationwide next month. It enables conversations around content, representing both an evolution in social discovery and a revolution of MySpace’s larger content strategy. MySpace and CitySearch will share the revenue generated on MySpace Local.

Hadley Reynolds, from IDC, said this is the next round of the local information services business, the hard core of most of the newspaper business and the prize for any number of emerging web brands. He added that the local city guide site’s recent strategy is built in part on the perception that the social networks are quickly crowding out newspapers for user eyeballs and cycles, and Citysearch sees an opportunity to recharge its own growth by connecting to a pre-packaged large audience for local content and advertising.

“It’s a smart strategy for MySpace and Citysearch,” agreed Neil Strother, an analyst with Forrester. “It clearly helps the MySpace user connect with local restaurents and bars and allows the two companies to leverage some of that data.”

MySpace Local will generate more immediate advertising dollars for MySpace, said Caroline Dangson, IDC Social Media Research analyst. The biggest opportunity for MySpace Local is on the mobile platform, she said, where users can search for local restaurants and invite friends to join them. MySpace says they are working on rolling this out but did not give a specific timeline.

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