Last month I had lunch with Infogroup‘s Pankaj Mathur to discuss a range of topics in mobile and local media. One thing we discussed was a new Twitter partnership that was then under wraps. Today the wrapping was taken off.
The deal essentially lets Twitter users and businesses link tweets to Infogroup’s business listing and POI (point of interest) data. From the press release:
Under the new agreement, Infogroup’s search, navigation, and other partners can use Infogroup’s persistent ID numbers to post and receive tweets driven by Twitter Places, Twitter’s geolocation feature. In addition, local businesses will be able to add their Twitter Handles and other social media user names directly to the Infogroup business database via Infogroup’s innovative ExpressUpdate technology which empowers businesses to search, edit, verify, add or enhance their Infogroup business records online. The agreement will give product developers and Infogroup’s broad network of local search, navigation and value-added resellers the ability to leverage Infogroup’s highly accurate data in combination with Twitter’s communication platform to provide more value to their customers.
For Twitter, this is a step toward being more of a location enabled resource for users and local advertisers (see our past analysis). Its moves in this arena have been notable but slower than others going after local/location such as Facebook and Google.
This should also be valuable for businesses that use Twitter as a marketing vehicle — a growing base according to our data. For Infogroup, the deal further applies and differentiates its local data at a time when differentiation is required to stave off commoditization.
There are increasingly more robust and sometimes free geo/places databases and APIs entering the market. But Infogroup continues to innovate in new ways such as deeper data sets for business info. Social tools like this represent another direction.
In the meantime, it boasts better accuracy and updated info than the free databases. It currently powers the top five search engines, 90 percent of North American in-car navigation systems and sales software of 85 percent of Fortune 100 companies.