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Yahoo Makes Local Search, Social Moves

Yahoo announced on Tuesday new and enhanced products and services intended to improve the company's offerings in local search and social media.

Yahoo will integrate Twitter and Zynga broadly on its Web properties, while a new beta version of Yahoo Messenger packs a number of social networking features.

In Yahoo's search engine, the company will offer applications that will allow users to perform actions with local results from within the engine's interface. It includes an upgrade of Yahoo Sketch-a-Search for finding local restaurants.

Yahoo Messenger's new social functionalities include the ability to play games from social gaming companies like Zynga and post, view and comment on status updates from Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo's Flickr, without leaving the IM service's interface. It also provides interoperability with Facebook's chat function.

The Zynga links extend beyond Yahoo Messenger and include My Yahoo, Yahoo Toolbar, Yahoo Games and Yahoo Pulse, which used to be called Yahoo Profiles.

Twitter has also been integrated in Yahoo's home page, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Pulse.

Yahoo also announced the launch of a program called Local Offers, designed to offer Yahoo users special deals, offers and coupons from local merchants. Initial partners include Groupon, LivingSocial, DealOn, Zozi, Tippr, Coupons.com, and Valpak.

The announcements are being made at Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco at a press event led by Yahoo CTO Blake Irving.

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