MySpace partners with Citysearch for local biz directory

Members will be able to rate and review businesses

MySpace has teamed up with Citysearch to create a directory of small-business profiles on the social-networking site, the vendors announced Tuesday.

MySpace members will be able to review and rate businesses, as well as share content related to these companies in this new directory, called MySpace Local.

Coors and Outback Steakhouse are the "inaugural brand sponsors" of the service, according to Citysearch and MySpace.

MySpace Local is now available to a select group of testers and will open up in a public beta for U.S. members in April.

MySpace Local adds yet another important dimension to the social-networking site by creating a service that links members with small businesses in a variety of ways, the companies said.

Initially, the directory will focus on three categories - restaurants, bars and nightlife - and business profiles will feature things like photos, menus, videos and maps.

Members will be able to search for businesses in the directory through different criteria, including neighborhood, category and cuisine type.

The directory will gain more categories in the coming months, like doctors, hotels and travel, as well as progressively being made available worldwide.

IDC analyst Caroline Dangson believes MySpace Local will help increase members' engagement with the site.

"They're focusing initially on bars, restaurants and nightlife businesses. That's the kind of activity you plan to do with friends or if you're meeting people, which is in line with MySpace," Dangson said.

MySpace Local will become even more useful to members when it becomes available via mobile devices and leverages location-based services and geotagging, she said.

"That will also be a huge opportunity for advertisers and businesses," she said.

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