According to this Forbes.com article, AT&T is preparing to launch a social Yellow Pages site to compete against Yelp and likes.
Later this year, AT&T plans to roll out an alternative brand for local search, geared primarily at younger users. The site will feature the same core data–listings and advertiser information–as Yellowpages.com, but differ in how it presents information and how it uses user-submitted information. While Yellowpages.com returns data based on advertisers’ profiles, similar to a directory, the new site will prioritize results based on a user’s social connections and recommendations, says Yoo.
On this new site, a search for a sushi restaurant could pull suggestions from a broad group of friends. A more targeted query, such as one for a pediatric dentist, would be handled differently. Rather than search a user’s entire social network, the site would only provide recommendations from friends and relatives who currently have kids.
What it means: As David Yoo,chief product officer for AT&T Interactive, says in the article, they’ve realized that the Yellow Pages brand appeals to older consumers (Yoo calls them “professionals in their late 30s or older”) but that they need another brand to maintain their relevancy with a younger crowd. They also need a “play” to compete against Yelp who has managed to capture a good share of mind and usage in some of AT&T’s major markets (like San Francisco). It’s not always obvious to launch a new brand but I think it’s becoming more and more evident that it’s needed.