IAC/InterActiveCorp Chairman and CEO Barry Diller announced yesterday at a Reuters Media Summit that Ask.com will launch a new local search destination Dec. 4, called AskCity.
The key here is that the new local search play will be the glue that brings together many of the local vertical destinations in IAC’s stable, including Citysearch, Ticketmaster and Evite. Ask.com itself has been moving in this direction since its redesign back in February.
This will most notably include the integration of the business information and reviews of Citysearch — key point of differentiation, as it will provide more and presumably better business information than can be found on Google Local or Yahoo! Local. The product’s name could also represent an attempt to differentiate it from the common formula of “X local” seen in its competitors. “AskCity” could better capture the breadth of services available such as event listings, ticket sales and city guides.
We'’ll get to see the product soon and will provide more information at that time. In the meantime, keep watching the online mapping space. It is increasingly becoming the centerpiece of local search as feature development and competition for users show no signs of slowing.
There will be online mapping sessions throughout the ILM:06 conference this week, including a keynote address on Friday by Jim Greiner, MapQuest vice president and general manager. Here is more on AskCity from The New York Times.