The rapidly growing local search market has found yet another way to make finding local businesses and retailers easier for browsers and shoppers.
A service called Poynt integrates the power of local search into Instant Messenger services such as Windows Live Messenger and just released an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) option also. Users can now do a local business search, find directions or even check the movie details from the convenience of their messenger client.
Poynt, a service developed by Multiplied Media, is the first local search service to harness the vast user based across instant messaging platforms. With the volume of users that have access to IM at work and home – it could be one of the most significant innovations in local search recently.
Using poynt is simple. Users simply add firstname.lastname@example.org to your messenger contacts. Then simply send it a message and it will prompt you to accept Poynt Activity. Once you do – you’re good to go. Just set your location and start searching.
A Poynt add-on will appear on your IM client providing results for your local searches.
Poynt currently feeds business results from Superpages in the US and YellowPages in Canada. The location and directions functionality utilizes Microsoft’s Windows Live maps.
The phenomenal growth in local search reach is putting more pressure on businesses to ensure they have listings in the various “local search” services.
As local search is such a splintered market (there’s Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, SuperPages, YellowPages, MerchantCircle etc etc) – listing diversity is becoming vital to capture the full potential of the local market.