The digital marketing specialist noted that Zagat is poised further expanding digitally with The Infatuation due to the latter's harnessed smartphone apps, Instagram hashtag and a texting recommendation service. The company under Google's control over the past seven years and has been run by a small team.
Google is selling restaurant recommendation company Zagat to The Infatuation, a nine-year-old company that is also in the business of writing and publishing recommendations of bars and restaurants, according to a report in today's New York Times. It does not rely on user reviews but manages its own editing, which is quite unusual for Google. As Google has its own, separate review system now, moving the Zagat brand to a different company is probably positive for everyone.
Google bought Zagat in September 2011 after a spat with Yelp, in which it claimed Google was importing user reviews on the Google Places page without providing any links back.
The New York Times said the Infatuation's CEO did not disclose the acquisition price. "Iconic brands don't become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets".
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Zagat was the brainchild of Tim and Nina Zagat where they used to conduct surveys on their friends' opinions on various eateries of New York City.
But The Infatuation, a restaurant reviews site that started in much the same fashion that Zagat did, sees the brand as an iconic institution and is thrilled to welcome it to the ranks. In 2016, Google redesigned Zagat's website and published an app to provide suggestions based on a user's location and the time of day. "Their innovative approach, and their passion for helping people discover great restaurants and for building community line up with what we built with Zagat from the very beginning".
"We're just trying to build something that takes this powerful brand and continues to grow it", said Stang.