Yahoo is boosting its local search capabilities by taking on the team from the smartphone recommendation app Zofari.
Zofari generates recommendations for local haunts like bars and cafes akin to how Pandora, the streaming-music service, creates personalized radio stations.
It does that partly by culling information from other local-search services like Foursquare and partly by looking at places that users liked to generate the kind of “if you liked that, you’ll like this” recommendations that Pandora and movie-streaming service Netflix are known for. Zofari said it was “inspired” by those services.
The company is one of more than 40 that CEO Marissa Mayer has taken on since she took the reins at Yahoo more than two years ago.
“Zofari and Yahoo share a common goal to make the world an easier place to explore for as many people as possible,” Yahoo said in an email. “We’re thrilled to welcome the team to Yahoo, where they will join our growing search organization and continue to build amazing discovery experiences.”
“We built (what we think) is a beautiful and powerful recommendation app,” Zofari said in a blog post. While we’ve built an experience we couldn’t be more proud of, we’re a small company and have always dreamed of reaching users at a greater scale.”
The buy comes at a time when Yahoo’s display ad sales an important financial metric fell 7 percent last quarter. The firm os now looking to boost its appeal to local advertisers.
In February, Yahoo struck a partnership with directory firm Yelp to display its content, like ratings and reviews, on Yahoo search results pages.
Currently, Zofari will continue to run its services on the Web and on Apple’s iOS for the iPhone and iPadand Google’s Android mobile operating systems, which power devices from makers including Samsung.