Yelp open to partnering with Facebook's rival offering: CFO

Fri May 31, 2013 6:39pm EDT
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By Chandni Doulatramani

(Reuters) - Consumer review aggregator Yelp Inc, which analysts say could face intense competition from Facebook Inc's "graph search", is open to partnering with the social networking website's latest offering, Yelp's Chief Financial Officer Rob Krolik told Reuters.

Facebook, in January, unveiled its graph search feature, available in a beta version, letting users trawl their network of friends to find everything from restaurants to movie recommendations, bringing it into direct competition with Yelp.

Analysts have viewed this as a big negative for Yelp as companies such as Facebook have a lot of opportunity to imitate smaller companies, and over a larger audience.

"We are actually happy to partner with Facebook (for graph search) if that's something that they're interested in," Krolik said.

Facebook declined to comment on any possible partnership.

Yelp's mobile app makes it easier for people to discover local businesses. It combines Yelp's reviews and other relevant information with knowledge of the consumer's location. It also allows consumers to "check-in" at local businesses.

Google Inc, through its Google Plus Local product, also recommends businesses to its users based on circles, past reviews, location and allows them to publish reviews and photos of favorite places.

"Facebook and Google and some other players really are attacking the local space via technology," Krolik said.   Continued...