The geo-social movement is gaining ground each day, with Twitter launching Twitter Places and Foursquare accruing 1.8 million users in its first year. Recently, there have been talks about Foursquare powering search engines with its check-ins, but now local news aggregator Fwix is taking a leap in geo-social searches with the launch of its hyperlocal search engine – and savvy marketers may be able to get their businesses in Fwix results to catch the interests of community members.
Fwix started as a site that filtered the latest internet news according to location, but it quickly developed its coverage to include content from social media sites relating to recent happenings in various cities – giving marketers who produce quality content for social and blog posts the chance to be part of local conversations on Fwix. It is currently active in 200 locations.
Just this week, the site launched a search feature to let users look for the news most interesting to them. When users log onto Fwix, they first select their location. Then, they can can choose from “suggested topics” to tailor their results, or they can now opt to “search local” and enter queries about what they most want to see news results for in their cities.
A Boston-based search for the Museum of Fine Arts gives more than 1,076 results. The top of the page has a sponsored link related to the query which could be valuable to marketers as Fwix develops. The left side of the page offers content filters including “news” from newspapers and esteemed blogs, “reviews” from Fwix users, “events” from sites such as Eventful and Upcoming, “photos” generally from Flickr and “updates,” featuring posts from social sites such as Foursquare and Twitter.
This could be an interesting platform for businesses to get known in local markets, but Fwix isn’t the only place for companies to become a part of news updates and local searches. Google Maps, for example, is currently used by 350,000 active websites and it now has easy mobile access for on-the-go consumers looking to see what’s in the neighborhood. If Foursquare check-ins become available through Google Maps, the search giant may be the best bet for marketers looking to boost local searches.