MySpace today announced a partnership with Citysearch that will bring Citysearch's database of local businesses to the social network's new MySpace Local service. Users on MySpace can now review, rate, and share content about businesses on MySpace Local, and reviews and ratings will appear in users' activity stream. MySpace will launch this service with support for restaurants and bars first, though it plans to include a wider range of businesses in the near future. MySpace Local will be available as a private beta today, and should become available to all users in the next few weeks.

The MySpace Local user interface represents a good mix of elements from Citysearch and MySpace, with a clear focus on local restaurants and businesses. Unlike Citysearch, however, the MySpace local site will also feature a separate section with updates from a user's friends on the service. Indeed, during a press conference today, MySpace specifically stressed that its new service will always emphasize reviews from friends.


MySpace stressed that it sees MySpace local as a new revenue stream, as it will share revenue with Citysearch. Neither MySpace nor Citysearch provided any details of this revenue sharing agreement however, though MySpace stressed that it sees this as an opportunity to provide advertisers with a new outlet for hyper-targeted ads.

Looking Ahead

In the near future, MySpace hopes to bring MySpace Local to its mobile apps, and the company also expects to expand it to markets outside of the U.S. soon.

Good for MySpace and Citysearch

Overall, this looks like a smart move by both MySpace and Citysearch. Citysearch, through this, gains access to a very large number of potential new users, while MySpace gains access to a large, pre-populated database of reviews. Users on Citysearch also don't tend to be as social as users on other review sites like Yelp, so this cooperation will probably bring a whole new group of reviewers to Citysearch.

Other local review sites like Yelp, for example, feature support for Facebook Connect, though Facebook itself doesn't have a 'Facebook Local' feature yet that is tightly integrated with a local review site (though some users hope they will do so soon).

Interestingly, even Citysearch itself already features support for Facebook Connect as well, which, according to Inside Facebook, is generating a constant stream of new traffic for Citysearch.

Adding this functionality seems like a natural evolution for social networking sites, and we expect that other social networks will follow in MySpace's footsteps soon.