Google just dipped their hand into the location-based market. With Hotpot, essentially a combination of Yelp and Foursquare, users can access a profile that allows them to rate and recommend businesses to their friends.

Google’s Hotpot Takes Social Recommendation Local

Think of hotpot as a personal, local recommendation engine that uses data from Google Places to show you ratings and reviews from local businesses. Also, Hotpot will show you personal reviews from your friends on the local businesses near you. Using the data from your reviews and your friends, Hotpot will then give you recommendations on businesses you may be interested in.

Is there room for Hotpot in the location-based market?

Despite being late to the local business party, Google must feel confident the party doesn’t start until they get there. The market is currently dominated by Yelp and Foursquare, both of which have a large community of users. And, let’s not forget Facebook’s announcement last week of their newest location based service, “Deals”.

What makes Google distinctly different is their strength and influence as the world’s most used search engine. Hotpot looks to actively engage users from a social aspect, but will also help develop their data for local searches. However, people are going have to commit to Hotpot in order to achieve any results.

What are your thoughts on Hotpot? Are you going to try it out or are you already committed to another location-based service?

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