Mike Isaac

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With New Alike Mobile App Acquisition, Yahoo Pushes Into Local Discovery

yahooAlike, a mobile app that helps users discover nearby venues and places to visit based on their interests, was acquired by Yahoo on Tuesday.

“We believe that distilled information, deeply personalized and made accessible anytime and anywhere, is what makes mobile experiences a part of our customers’ daily lives,” the Alike website posted to its blog. “In Yahoo! we’ve found a team as excited about this vision as we are, and who are serious about making it real.”

The app is focused on an area in which many companies are dabbling right now: Mobile-based location discovery. Facebook, for example, recently upped its “Nearby” feature inside of its Facebook app, which helps you find places close to you that your friends have checked in to. Google, too, is beefing up mobile discovery with Google+Local. And of course there’s Foursquare and Yelp, two search-and-discovery-based apps that are more and more focused on the mobile device.

Yahoo stands out among the pack of these companies, in that the company is largely seen as “weak” in its mobile department thus far.

But the acquisition is in line with CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent cheerleading of mobile, an area in which she plans to up Yahoo’s game in the coming year.

“We were very impressed by the team and their approach to building personalized experiences,” Yahoo said in a statement. “The entire Alike team will join Yahoo!’s mobile organization in San Francisco and Sunnyvale.”

Alike’s team will shut down its existing iPhone and Web apps as a result of the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google