My general inclination is to say there’s no more room and to ask what can anyone bring that hasn’t already been done. But the folks behind the site, who include Jim Delli Santi (once of SBC yellow pages and later Yahoo!) and now Mark Law (most recently of MapQuest but before that Yahoo!), have built something that sits right at the nexus of “local” and “social.” Another way to see it is as “An IYP for the “Twitter era.”
Here’s what the company said about Facebook integration in its release:
AlikeList has extended its consumer sharing and discovery capabilities in several ways. The first is deeper integration with Facebook. People can now post their “Likes” to their Facebook Wall and ask friends and family for business recommendations. The AlikeList user interface has also been updated with new searching capabilities. There are now multiple search filtering options including “friends,” “friends of friends” and the entire AlikeList network. In addition, the AlikeList homepage features “Most Liked” businesses in three major metropolitan areas: the Bay Area, Chicago and Denver.
The new ad product is called “Minute Ads” and offer a range of benefits (copy from the site):
- Post an instant offer or message to your Business Listing & PromoSite
- Search Engine OptimizationUnlimited changes to your ad
- 24×7 visibility of your ad
- Website link
- Customer and Activity Dashboard
AlikeList is offering a free 30-day trial of the program.
AlikeList in a way has solved the tension between consumer-facing review sites and SMB advertiser interests. That tension has bubbled up most recently in the form of the dubious Yelp class-action suit. But there is frustration and uncertainty among SMBs about how to manage their reputations on Yelp and elsewhere.
Very obnoxiously (bold, underscore, exclamation point) AlikeList’s PR people have been trying to piggyback on the Yelp lawsuit and related controversy over reviews to get exposure. But the point here and reflected in the AlikeList commercial below is that only positive recommendations are shown on the site; there are no “reviews” per se. In other words if a business isn’t “liked” it generally won’t appear on the site. People list only their favorites.
Interestingly, AlikeList recommends that businesses promote “liking them” on AlikeList to their customers. In other words, solicit “reviews” — a practices that is actively frowned up on by Yelp.
As a final note, the company tagline now appears to be “your online referral network” (at least for SMB-facing purposes).