Already on the iPhone, BlackBerry and the Pre, Citysearch has launched an Anroid app today. The app has much the same functionality as on the other platforms: users can write reviews and share information. They can also search and filter by various criteria, as well as find nearby places using built-in location awareness.
However the iPhone and Android apps are somewhat different.
(I downloaded the Android app, but am having some difficulty getting it to work this morning. See update below; working now.)
The thing that’s important is that Citysearch is present on Android, which is rapidly becoming a major mobile platform. There may be as many as 50 Android devices in the market globally by the end of 2010 according to financial analyst projections.
Over time the “mobile Web” will get richer and minimize the need for many publishers to build native apps for all the smartphone platforms. But for now the functionality available via apps is still much richer than what you can do on the mobile Web.
Local and mobile are joined at the hip and every local publisher needs some sort of mobile presence; the scope of that and particular mobile strategy depends on the particular site/publisher, their audience and their objectives.
Citysearch told me that the company is seeing increasing usage volume coming from mobile devices, although wouldn’t give me specific figures.
The site, which lost ground to Yelp over the past few years, is now pushing in several directions to regain the initiative. Mobile is an area where it can reinvigorate its brand and reintroduce itself to consumers. Citysearch is also doing interesting things on the merchant side.
Most recently the company integrated the Twitter sign-up API and effectively became a “Twitter client.”
One interesting question, which I discussed with Citysearch, is whether user reviews are now becoming “commoditized.” Accordingly, Citysearch believes that its editorial content is a differentiator vs. pure user review sites (read: Yelp). I would agree that editorial “round-ups” and features add considerable value when people are looking for ideas and inspiration.
Do you believe that Citysearch’s across the board push into mobile will help it gain new users and reassert itself in the local space?
Update: App is working now; nice interface with Twitter integration very prominent on the profile page: