MapQuest "Vibe" iPhone App Highlights the Best of Local

MapQuest "Vibe" iPhone App Highlights the Best of Local

Free App Features Real-time Community Rankings Based on Voting

DENVER (November 10, 2011) – MapQuest, a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), announced today the MapQuest "Vibe" iPhone app, which features the best in local, from restaurants and bars to services and travel destinations. Available on iTunes today, the app brings to handheld devices and tablets the same MapQuest Vibe desktop experience, including proprietary, real-time local rankings for 50,000 neighborhoods, 27,000 cities and 50,000 hotspots across the country.

Already the 16th most popular mobile brand, with 14.2 million unique mobile users each month,* MapQuest uses sophisticated algorithms to leverage billions of data signals from its mobile and desktop experiences to create credible, living rankings that drive consumer decision-making.

"Finding where to go can be a frustrating experience, especially when the majority of nearby restaurants get 3.8 stars on competitive sites and reading through hundreds of reviews takes too much time," said Vijay Bangaru, vice president of product, MapQuest. "MapQuest Vibe makes finding where to go a lot easier, by giving you a clear rank of what's best. We combine 15 years of user intent on MapQuest with an added social voting platform. All this is done in real-time, so you'll always have accurate rankings based on the wisdom of the crowds."

MapQuest Vibe launched as a desktop web experience in October 2011. The iPhone app mirrors the desktop and mobile platforms so users can enjoy neighborhood insights regardless of if their access point.

MapQuest Vibe App Features + Functionalities
Vibe Scores or rankings are informed by user intent and cartographic analysis from MapQuest user logs that inform criteria such as popularity, going out opportunities, residential nature, "burby-ness," edginess and walkability.

"Naturally this information is what people want when they're on the go," said Bangaru. "They want to be able step outside their hotel and start exploring without spending a long time researching. That's what the MapQuest Vibe iPhone app gives them – it's a pocket concierge."

The MapQuest Vibe iPhone app makes several features easier to experience in real-time, such as:
  • Voting: MapQuest Vibe's voting system allows individuals to vote up or down a local business. Unlike traditional ratings sites, these votes combine with underlying walkability, popularity, going out nature, edginess, and burby-ness scores, to ultimately create the comprehensive Vibe Score. Voting also influences the location of local hotspots, causing new ones to appear and existing ones to change shape or disappear.
  • Sharing: The game framework harnesses social and local influence, as well as overall engagement, allowing the individual's experience to be easily shared with friends and the community via Facebook.

Download the Free App
Version 0.9 of the MapQuest Vibe iPhone app is available today on iTunes.

"Most people have found themselves in a scenario where there's time to kill in a new neighborhood – people are naturally curious to explore," said Michael Iams, principal mobile product manager, MapQuest. "Without a guide, they are forced to rely on uninformed trial-and-error to make decisions asking questions such as, 'Where should I eat?' and 'What else is around?' MapQuest asked, 'Why not let the crowd help?' The MapQuest Vibe app answers all of these questions, eliminating the need to spend a lot of time searching multiple websites."

MapQuest Vibe can also be accessed via mqVibe.com or by clicking the "neighborhoods" button on MapQuest.com. MapQuest reaches nearly one in five Internet users**and, with the majority searching for local information, Vibe serves as a natural extension of core MapQuest functionality.

*comScore Mobilens, September 2011
**Internal data

# # #

About MapQuest
MapQuest provides Internet, mobile and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people research and discover: where is it, how to get there and what's nearby. MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, and reaching more than 39.0 million users in September2011, according to comScore Media Metrix. MapQuest's mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry devices. MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc., is based in Denver, Colo.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Asbury, 303-298-5331, jennifer.asbury@mapquest.com

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