Fwix Launches Hyperlocal Search Engine
Fwix, a growing player in the hyperlocal news space, has launched the beta version of what it’s calling a Local Trend Search tool at search.fwix.com. It lets users search for things “happening at any place right now” (recently would be more accurate) at more than 200 English-speaking locations worldwide.
(click for larger version)
The above is a search conducted this afternoon for yankee stadium with New York as the city location. (I moved the map around a bit to improve the screenshot.)
On the far left, you see several types of content refinements — News, Events, Photos, and Updates. The latter includes posts from sites like Twitter, Foursquare, and Gowalla. News results come from traditional media sites and local blogs. Events results come from sites like Eventful and StubHub. The Photos results seem to rely very heavily on geotagged Flickr images.
You’ll notice that there’s an advertisement showing above the search results on the left. Fwix offers locally-targeted advertising via its AdWire product.
The Local Trend Search tool is interesting and appears to have potential as the company continues to develop it. But like Fwix’s primary hyperlocal news product, it seems to suffer from lack of coverage in smaller towns.
Fwix isn’t the only company trying to connect current news/updates and local search: Sency has a real-time/local search mashup and Bing already offers several similar features in its Bing Maps Apps product, though the Bing experience isn’t as cohesive as Fwix’s is right now. And let’s not forget Google Maps; it already has data layers for photos, videos, Wikipedia, real estate listings, etc. … and could probably match Fwix pretty easily by adding news, events, and status updates if it wants to.