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Bizzy app provides personalized location-based business recommendations

Bizzy, a personalized local business recommendation engine powered by consumers with similar tastes to each user, has launched an application for iPhone and iPod touch.

The free application generates personalized local business recommendations, letting users find businesses specific to their taste while they are out and about. Bizzy claims that when consumers are searching for the right restaurant or place to shop, they do not want to spend time sifting through countless contradictory reviews that may not be relevant to them.

“We launched the 20 questions in the beginning of November and people were very warm to the idea of answering questions—people love to  talk about their favorites, and they’ve already brought really interesting, high-quality businesses to Bizzy,” said Gadi Shamia, founder, president and general manager of Bizzy, Mountain View, CA. “Users are sharing recommendations for their best night out and the best place to grab a beer or a bite to eat.

“The next step was launching the site itself and now the iPhone app, which features the ultimate Bizzy experience,” he said. “When you make a search for, say, a lunch spot, it is hard to sift through dozens of reviews—you want to spend thirty seconds to a minute max.

“We customize search results based on your preferences, which is a differentiator—the big idea behind the iPhone app is how easy to use it is.”

ReachLocal Inc.’s Bizzy is a local business recommendation engine that uses consumers’ personal preferences to help them discover local businesses recommended by people with similar tastes.

Local business recommendations on the go
Bizzy’s iPhone application bases its search results around users’ location to provide them with relevant recommendations, which are built leveraging an algorithm that maps each user to people with similar tastes.

Bizzy breaks down the recommendations first by quality and then by distance.

Mr. Shamia said that when they are on the go, people would much rather get five recommendations for places they should try, rather than the names of 50 places they could try.

Users can view recommendations in map or list form and can also browse based on categories such as restaurants, entertainment, pets or nightlife. They can further filter their recommendations using subcategories such as delis, food stands, fine dining or day spas.

The new application includes business pages featuring business information, maps and a box where consumers can view similar users who have marked the business as a favorite.

On the business page, users have the opportunity to change their sentiment, mark it as a favorite or mark as “not interested,” and also share the business on Facebook or Twitter.

Bizzy recently launched its recommendation engine, asking people to participate in a question-and-answer game to share their favorite local businesses.

With users contributing more than 70,000 favorites in just four weeks, Bizzy has generated more than 750,000 personal recommendations and is now beginning to roll out personalized recommendations and new features in cities nationwide.

To date, the top ten cities in the U.S. with the most survey respondents are New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft Worth, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle and Denver.

To map their favorites to people with similar preferences and start getting personalized local business recommendations, users can go to

The Bizzy application lets users:

• Discover new businesses around them on iPhone or iPod touch from anywhere

• Access recommendations based on similar tastes, not friends, ads or random listings

• View recommendations in a list or on a map

• Access business pages for location, contact information and a map

• Discover people with similar tastes

• Share new favorites via Twitter and Facebook

• Filter recommendations based on business category and subcategory

The new Bizzy for iPhone and iPod touch is now available for free in the Apple App Store.

Before users can get their personalized recommendations on the iPhone application, they must answer a few questions about their favorite local businesses at

While the current focus is on building up the user base, Mr. Shamia said that once the company can give unlimited, targeted and objective recommendations, the monetization options are endless.

“We’re focused on word of mouth to get the word out—our users are doing a great deal of sharing via Twitter and other social networks,” Mr. Shamia said. “Although this is a new product, people are already very excited.

“From a business perspective, businesses benefit from the number of favorites they’ve got—Bizzy is not a popularity contest, it’s about how many people have ‘favorited’ them and who they interact with,” he said. “The more favorites a business has, the more easily businesses can connect with consumers with similar tastes and interests.

“We’re more than happy work with businesses to come up with ways to encourage Bizzy users to list them more often.”

Final Take
Zorik Gordon, cofounder/CEO of ReachLocal