If you like supporting your local restaurant or shop instead of the nearest chain outpost, then Google has just made your life a bit easier. The US launch of Favourite Places means consumers can find and review over 100,000 local businesses on the move by using their mobile.
While this might mean your favourite local coffee house will stand a chance against Starbucks, it also demonstrates the increasing importance of the mobile community and niche content. Buzz City has long believed that as the number of content providers increase and ways to receive content change then a new segment of consumers who want customized and local information will emerge.
These consumers care less about the recommendations of recognized brands and more about the views of people like them. Yellow pages listings and Timeout recommendations are becoming less relevant than the thoughts of the influential local mobile community.
By launching Favourite Places, Google is staking its belief in local businesses and the mobile community. As the local content market grows and peer to peer recommendations become more important, it will be interesting to see which organisations adapt to this new “local/ global” market and see which ones are left in the static past.