Yahoo Launches Neighborhood Information Service in India

Yahoo has rolled out its neighborhood information service, called Local, in India, making it the third country to get the service after the U.S. and U.K., a company spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The service, which is in a beta test phase, was launched in four cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Yahoo plans to introduce Local to other cities depending on feedback from the initial rollouts.

The services on Yahoo Local have been modified to meet local requirements, the spokeswoman said. Some of the new features include walking and driving directions, fare information for three-wheeled "auto rickshaw" taxis and local listings for plumbers, cable TV providers and milkmen.

The site is also integrated with SMS (Short Message Service), which allows users to send their friends information such as road directions from a PC to a mobile phone, the spokeswoman added.

India has emerged as a key market for Internet companies, which are rolling out local versions of some of their main products and services.

In May, Google launched an Indian version of YouTube, while a month earlier MySpace launched an Indian version of its social networking site. Some Internet companies, including Yahoo, have sites and services such as e-mail and instant messaging in local Indian languages.

The content for Yahoo Local comes from local and international providers, the spokeswoman said.