Yandex Launches Guide to Urban Businesses and Organisations
Internet, June 18, 2014. Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX) is launching a service for search and selection of companies and organisations in Russia’s cities. Called Yandex.City, it helps users choose restaurants, beauty salons and a wide range of other businesses whose services they might need. The service, currently available only in Russian, is accessible on city.yandex.ru, as well as on applications for iOS and Android.
Yandex.City can be used to find companies or organisations in any Russian city. Users may search by popularity, location and other parameters. The service can direct users to the nearest pharmacy store or a restaurant with European cuisine, wi-fi and live music. The service provides photos, user reviews and ratings to help users decide which place to visit. Users can submit their comments and reviews on the service, and vote for or against the places they know.
“When we need to choose a venue, we usually ask around. But the people we know may not always help, just because they don't have the experience. Yandex.City gives everyone an opportunity to tap into the experience of lots and lots of people,” said service head Kirill Votyakov. “In the future, Yandex.City will be able to help its users with any kind of a service-related task, from reserving a table at a restaurant to booking a haircut. In Moscow, St. Petersburg and partially in some other cities this functionality is already available, although at present only in the web version.”
Yandex.City currently has the largest database of user reviews of companies and organisations in Russia, provided by about 70 partner companies. Yandex analyses users’ comments with the help of fact extraction technology and adds the most relevant information to the internet service, so that users can see the pluses and minuses of specific places. The service adds ratings to companies and organisations with a large enough number of reviews, basing the ratings on a wide range of factors and protecting them from artificial boosting. More details about how Yandex works with user reviews can be found on the company blog (in Russian).
The new service uses Yandex’s database of companies and organisations as well as data provided by partner companies. To attract more customers, companies and organisations can add information about themselves to the database – this information appears not only on Yandex.City, but also in Yandex.Search and Yandex.Maps on desktop, as well as on the Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Navigator mobile applications.
Vladimir Isaev, Ochir Mandzhikov
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