Local and Social Collide on MapQuest

Filed in Local Search, Social Media by Matt McGee on December 12, 2008 2 Comments

MapQuest made a move this week that has mostly flown under the radar, but I think it’s a great move for them, a potential boon for small business owners, and a sign of things to come. You may recall my October post, 8 Social Media Sites for Local Networking … well, MapQuest has flipped that coin. MapQuest Local, its excellent local portal, has added a social element with a local Twitter feed. Here’s what it looks like on a MapQuest Local home page:

mapquest local screenshot

When you visit any town’s MapQuest Local page, you’ll see a feed of posts from Twitter users in that area. And, as you can see from the screenshot above, this is placed on pretty good real estate — it’s above the fold. (Users can customize MapQuest Local, so no guarantee it’ll stay there. But the percentage of users who do customize the page is probably pretty small.)

I ran a little test on it this afternoon, and MapQuest picks up the new messages very quickly. Greg Sterling talked to MapQuest VP Mark Law today, who “painted a scenario where would-be tourists can identify local experts and make contact with them through this widget and Twitter.” Yes, and maybe not just would-be tourists, but would be home buyers relocating to a new area. (That’s a hint to any real estate agents reading this.)

twitter on mapquest

I think this is a nice move for MapQuest for a variety of reasons, and another small justification for local businesses to try out social tools like Twitter. MapQuest says they get 46 million unique users per month, and MapQuest remains the number one map site online, ahead of Google Maps, Yahoo Maps/Local, etc.

Comments (2)

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  1. I def. think in the next few years social and local will collide and have a great impact. This is a prime example of how it has already started.

  2. Missy says:

    Interesting mashup. I wonder why MapQuest chose to add this to their start page. I wish there was a way to sort of customize it, so my random silly tweets don’t end up there.

    Hmmmn. I don’t know how i feel about this. It feels abit on the extreme side. Too much coverage.

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