Local Corp. (Finally) Releases a Mobile App

Local Corp. resisted releasing a mobile app (though it had an HTML site) for a very long time. Yesterday it released one¬†for its flagship Local.com site. It’s nicely designed. Here are some images:

The challenge is the same one faced by other apps in this category: it doesn’t offer enough content to compete with the dominant players. It’s fine for “name in mind” lookups but when people are doing a category search there’s no way to filter or sort results or otherwise make choices among places. Along those same lines, there are very few reviews.

Content has become critical to differentiate in local (reviews, images, enhanced data) as the local database has become semi-commoditized. Yet enhanced content is increasingly available through third party APIs (Yelp, Locu, Foursquare, CityGrid, etc.) and feeds. That third-party content should also be used to encourage “home-grown” user-generated content.

Again Local Corp. has done a nice job with the UI and overall design. I’m not sure, however, the company has given people a compelling reason to use this app vs. Google Maps or Yelp or other local apps that may offer additional or different types of information (e.g., public transportation, gas prices, chain-finders, deals).

Google’s Field Trip app, launched just yesterday, exists at the opposite end of the¬†spectrum. It’s loaded with unique local content but not particularly utilitarian.

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