CityGrid Buys BuzzLabs for Local and Social Content Enhancement

CityGrid has acquired Seattle-based social media and reputation monitoring platform BuzzLabs. The purchase price was not disclosed but CityGrid CEO Jay Herratti implied that the price was not great.

BuzzLabs now brings some obvious and not-so-obvious tools and capabilities to CityGrid. According to the release:

The acquisition gives CityGrid the immediate ability to aggregate and  analyze millions of pieces of content across its content and ad network—including reviews, articles, blog posts, check-ins, Likes and countless other real time streams of user generated content–producing an enormous repository of business sentiment, consumer insight and trending data for its publishers and million-plus merchants.

BuzzLabs’ dashboard, featuring reputation monitoring and sentiment analysis, will be part of CityGrid’s offering to SMB-merchants. However as the text immediately above implies that’s not the primary reason for the acquisition.

The primary reason (beyond the talent that CityGrid will obtain) is that CityGrid will be able to layer enhanced content from a wide range of sources and social media sites (e.g., check-ins, Likes, reviews, tweets, etc.) into the consumer experience.

This additional content will reside on business profile pages. It will be offered through CityGrid owned and operated sites (e.g., CitySearch) and the company’s API to third party publishers.

CityGrid CEO Herratti made clear in a call with me this afternoon that content enhancement was the main reason for the purchase of BuzzLabs, in which CityGrid had quietly invested last year. I asked Herratti about the path from this enhanced content to greater profitability or some other competitive advantage for CityGrid.

Certainly beefed up content will make the CityGrid API more competitive vs. some of the other local APIs out there. But Herratti emphasized that more content on profile pages will help consumers gain greater buying confidence, create better response rates and deliver more leads to SMBs.

Herratti also stressed that BuzzLabs doesn’t just aggregate content but can organize and make it intelligible as well.

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  1. Today in Social — Gigaom Research says at

    […] out just how challenging a business hyperlocal has been for several well-heeled players. Meanwhile, IAC’s local business unit bought a buzz monitoring company, but it knows such sophisticated marketing data analysis is beyond most local advertisers. […]

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