Loku Hyper-localizes Local Search, Launches Mobile App
With all the progress Google has made recently with local and mobile search, and their enormous search-market share, it's curious how a new local search player could add any value beyond whats already there. For consumers though, this trend of localization in search, is something that continues to grow. In turn, advertising dollars follow. According to the IAB, the mobile advertising market is set to grow to almost $8bil by 2016. The number of searches with local intent, according to Google, right now is around 40%, and is due to increase to almost 2/3 of all mobile search ads by 2016. With this in mind, there is plenty of opportunity out there for a company who can come up with a unique, new way to serve consumers looking for localized information.
That is what startup company Loku promises to do in an AllThingsD article. Quite simply Loku looks to apply big data and filters to the local data they present, and enhance it by providing context, or "the meaning", as CEO Dan Street says. By using big data as a tool to layer in to local search results, Loku plans to deliver not only hyper-local results, but hyper-contextual results. Loku uses natural language search coupled with sources like Twitter and other social networks to find what the venue means to people; is it swanky? kid friendly? overpriced? and then matches that to your preferences, set with a nifty slider feature. Whatever their big data deep analysis finds gets tied in, and along with the personalized sliders representing your personality, is included as an additional layer on top of just location. Combine this with a friendly visual layout that Street calls, a "visual version of local search" and you have a tool that looks quite different than anything ever seen in local search. The tile layout of search results is reminiscent of a Pinterest board, or as the article in AllThingsD says, "Flipboard-like".Continued on the next page