Yahoo buys maker of mobile app for recommendations

Boosting its mobile unit, the Web giant acquires Alike, a maker of a location-based app that lets users recommend nearby restaurants, shops, and other venues.

Over the last few months, Yahoo has been talking about plans to beef up its mobile unit, and now it's making good on the promise. The Web giant announced today that it has acquired Alike, a company behind a mobile app for recommendations.

"The Alike team created an app that focuses on personalization -- using the restaurants and places you like to find the ones you'll love," a Yahoo representative told CNET in an e-mail. "We were very impressed by the team and their approach to building personalized experiences. The entire Alike team will join Yahoo's mobile organization in San Francisco and Sunnyvale."

As noted by the representative, Alike is a mobile app that lets users recommend bars, restaurants, and shops that are considered favorites and are nearby or like other venues. The idea is comparable to that of Foursquare, which now acts like both a social network and a recommendation search engine.

Alike also made the announcement today on its blog:

We've always been passionate about the growing power of intelligent mobile experiences. We believe that distilled information, deeply personalized and made accessible anytime and anywhere, is what makes mobile experiences a part of our customers' daily lives.

In Yahoo we've found a team as excited about this vision as we are, and who are serious about making it real. We're superexcited to join Yahoo's mobile team, where we can march toward that vision faster than ever.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has said several times that she believes mobile is vital to the company's future. It could pave the way for Yahoo to use search and personalization in new ways and take advantage of a formidable stock of daily content. She even emphasized her focus on mobile during a speech today at the 2013 Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where she said that the future of Yahoo will be providing personalized user experiences both on mobile and the desktop.
 

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