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Around one year post the announcement, local search services application Poynt and Times Internet limited (Indiatimes) have officially launched the mobile local search application, timesPoynt for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones.

The free application which is powered by data from Timescity.com, will provide users in India with the ability to locate restaurants, nightlife, events, movie theaters and weather information. Like the Poynt app, timesPoynt will feature the ability to allow users to click-to-call businesses, get directions, browse listing websites, send details to a friend or add listings to their device calendar or address book.

  

As planned, Poynt will leverage the Times Group’s relationships in India with advertisers, agencies and merchants, to monetize the app. Poynt intends to roll out its context based mobile advertising model, under which the revenue model is based on user queries, page views, advertising and transactions within the App. Each user query generates several page views, which are monetized through display advertising and sponsored listings paid for by advertisers. These advertising placements generate revenues on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis or on a cost per click (CPC) basis.

 

Our Take

We were not able to locate the app in the Indian App Store for iOS. We tested the Android version of the application. The app offers listings for Restaurants, Events, Movies and Nightlife, each filtered on the basis of genres or cuisine or categories, location, top 10, in addition to search by name functionality. For restaurants, the app offers reviews, directions, location on Google maps, the ability to make a call to it and sharing on Twitter, Facebook and E-mail, in addition to images of the property.

Nearby Movies and Theatres are listed in the Movies section with further information and show timings. Event listings allow the user to add the event to the device’s calendar and save the venue address to its Contacts.

Looking at the amount of time Times Internet and Poynt took to release the app after announcing the tie-up, the app offers nothing ground breaking. It might be possible that it took time to get partners for paid or sponsored listings. Restaurant search on the basis of location was fairly accurate.

Suggestions:

– The app should integrate an e-commerce engine to allow ticket bookings for events and movies. Also a table reservation and home delivery engine for food delivery could be added.

– Perhaps it could also integrate user reviews and ratings, and a reward system to encourage usage.

– Other location based info such as ATMs, Petrol Pumps, shopping malls and other similar information could also be included.