Local search platform provider Local Matters has just acquired a Facebook application-in-progress from online real estate player Point2. The app will be called Neighborhoods for Facebook and will allow Facebook users to network with others in their area and find out about local events. It can be thought of as a sort of hyperlocal play within Facebook.
The closest thing we’ve seen to this so far is Loladex, which launched in March to fuse local search and social networking within Facebook. One of the advantages of these applications is that they can piggyback on Facebook’s existing (and growing) social graph, rather than attracting users to a new social network. Still, attracting users to grab and use the application within their Facebook accounts won’t come entirely without a challenge.
The application also has a real estate angle. It will allow real estate brokers and agents in Point2’s listing syndication service to automatically distribute listings to the Facebook app. They can also purchase enhanced placement in a way that targets specific geographies or demographics within Facebook (similar to Facebook Ads launched in November). The benefit here is additional distribution to a place where the benefits and growth potential of a network effect are inherent.
For Local Matters, this is the latest in a string of acquisitions and product launches, and the second that specifically builds capability around social media. It will be developed on an ongoing basis by Local Matters, but draw upon Point2’s Neighborhood database.