Publishers Moving Into Social Media With New Brands

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According to an article this week on Forbes.com, AT&T will launch a Yelp meets Yellow Pages site later this year. The new site will carry a new brand that does not invoke Yellow Pages, but something that appeals to the non-Yellow Pages crowd, namely people under 30 who rarely or never use the phone book or an IYP. The article cites AT&T’s David Yoo in explaining how the site will perform in a different manner from Yellow Pages, while leveraging YP content:

While Yellowpages.com returns data based on advertisers’ profiles, similar to a directory, the new site will prioritize results based on a user’s social connections and recommendations, says Yoo.

On this new site, a search for a sushi restaurant could pull suggestions from a broad group of friends. A more targeted query, such as one for a pediatric dentist, would be handled differently. Rather than search a user’s entire social network, the site would only provide recommendations from friends and relatives who currently have kids.

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The European directory publisher Truvo is following a similar strategy. It recently launched Truvo.com, a local search site in Belgium that is built on a foundation of user-generated content.

The May launch follows Truvo’s acquisition earlier in the year of the European social media company YelloYello. The new site is built on the YelloYello platform, and is based on user-generated content rather than Yellow Pages listings. The new Truvo.com site is the second example, the first being Truvo Mobile, of the company leveraging its corporate brand into a consumer brand, by passing the traditional YP brands (Gouden Gids, etc.). The rationale is the same as AT&T’s: reach out to younger consumers who have no affinity to the traditional media products or brands.

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