Today Yext announced Sync, a service that lets you sync a business’ location data to Facebook along with “enhanced” data such as menus, offers, photos and status updates. While there are plenty of social media management tools that allow you to control content on a Facebook Page, the two big differences with Yext’s service are that it also allows you to share this info across Yext’s Powerlistings network of 50 or so local search sites like Yelp, YP.com, etc. and it attaches the status updates to your business’ location data.
(Disclosure: I do some consulting for Yext so I will try to keep my pro-client bias out of this post)
If you want to know more about how Yext Sync works, you can check out Greg Sterling’s post and here’s a screenshot from Yext’s iPhone app that shows how you can take a photo and share it. It’s kind of like a b2b Instagram:
Besides the utility of the service, perhaps the most interesting thing to me about Sync is that Yext has taken a “Product” that other start-ups are selling (e.g. Facebook Page Management) and turned it into a “Feature” of Yext’s Powerlistings Product. Now Yext will say that they have little interest in supplanting Buddy Media or HootSuite, and in fact, those services offer much more in-depth tools than Sync/Powerlistings for social media management. And I could easily see Yext at some point rolling out an API that allows those services to sync their data up with Yext’s location data (no idea if that’s in the works or not). But to me it raises an interesting question – which is more valuable – social media management or location data management?
Lately to me it seems like social media management has become more commoditized while location data management, which can be hugely complex, has become something of a unique service, which is odd, because if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said it was the other way around.