Yahoo India head of audience Gopal Krishna has said the new local area information service the company launched on Tuesday is like Tata Motors' small car Nano: "It will be well received by users because it satisfies the users' needs comprehensively."
Called the Yahoo Local Beta, the new service will have to compete with a slew of local area information providers on the Internet. But Krishna is unfazed.
“Although the automobile industry is over a hundred years old, the Nano is the most talked about car because of its mass appeal. Local Beta aims to serve its users in a similar manner,” he told IANS.
Yahoo Local Beta combines the informative capabilities of Yellow Pages and the interactive capabilities of Yahoo maps.
“If you need to access details of a restaurant or a convenience store or a gym in your locality, you can search for the same on the Local Beta site,” Krishna said at a press conference here earlier.
“We have a comprehensive database of locality-based businesses which is expanding everyday by user contribution," he added. "It is possible for the user to rate, review, add information and leave a footprint.”
The site also offers the driving direction to any of the listed businesses for its users. “Yahoo maps offers best driving directions in the country and we have integrated that with the Local Beta,” said Yahoo India's local and maps division business head Srishar Ranganathan.
Krishna said the company has sourced part of its listed information from Indiacom Yellow Pages while some of it has been researched internally.
“As of now, its too early to comment on how much user generated content we have on the site, but certainly that is going to be the driver and we are hoping that user contributed information will for a chunk of the sites content,” he added.
Yahoo Inc. has more than 500 million users worldwide and is the leading email provider in India. “Our parent company is especially keen about the India market and we have taken the initiative to launch various new services here in the last six months,” Krishna said.
Indimail, Indichat (chat in nine Indian languages) and Glue are some of the services that Yahoo has launched recently.