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October 14, 2004

Evite debuts local social networking

By Charlene Li

Evite revamped its site today to include social networking. The big news is it’s leveraging data from its RSVP service to automatically create the social network, rather than have users manually identify and invite people to join it. They do this by taking information about 1) who you’ve invited to an event; 2) who has invited you; and 3) people who have been at the same event as you to create the connection. I wrote about this in a social networking report – that relationship mapping for social networks will take place in the background by tapping into existing behaviors.

But what good is social network if you can’t do anything about it? Evite asks its users to create profiles and provide recommendations of their favorite bars and restaurants. When a user goes into “Places To Go” and does a search, venues with a recommendation from people in their network will appear. This review means a lot more to me, than say a review in Yahoo! Local that comes from someone I don’t know.

In effect, Evite is expanding out of the RSVP business and hoping to tap into local advertising dollars. It will also be showing paid listing ads from sister company Citysearch, as well as incorporating venue editorial reviews.


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