Local search service goes live on AIM network

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Poynt, an instant messenger-based local search service developed by Multiplied Media, has gone live on the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) network. The search service is already available on Windows Live Messenger.

“We're providing a system for people who live in instant messenger [so they don't have] to leave instant messenger,” said John Lowe, CEO and director of Multiplied Media.

Instead of opening an Internet browser in order to search, users can find the local information they want without leaving the IM environment. “We've found that people don't want to leave the platform where they live,” Lowe added.

Multiplied Media, which is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, has partnered with Idearc Media (Superpages.com) in the US and the Yellow Pages Group in Canada to provide local business listings over these two instant messenger platforms.

In order to access Poynt, users need to add the screen name “Poynt” to their buddy list. Once added, they can interact with Poynt like they would any other contact. After a local search location is selected, users can enter keywords to seek phone numbers, addresses and directions for a specific business or service in their area. Results are presented in order of their proximity to the search location.

With this launch, Poynt is now available to 70 million AIM and Windows Live Messenger users in the US and Canada, according to Multiplied Media. The company is in discussions to offer the local search service in other countries and has plans to layer in additional content, Lowe said.

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