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Yelp Doubles Down on Restaurant Businesses With Acquisition of Reservation Service SeatMe

Yelp Doubles Down on Restaurant Businesses With Acquisition of Reservation Service SeatMe
Image credit: SeatMe

This week's need-to-know social-media news.

If its recent business moves are any indicator, it appears Yelp is getting even more serious about restaurant businesses. The popular social-review site has acquired San Francisco-based reservation service SeatMe for $16.7 million. SeatMe's web service lets restaurant owners add an online reservation system to their own site or Facebook page. Its iPad app essentially lets restaurant hosts manage their tables in real-time.

Yelp says it will have the SeatMe team help build out Yelp's own reservation system, according to TechCrunch. Since 2010, Yelp has relied on another reservation service, Open Table, to power its integrated reservations.

Last week Yelp launched Yelp Platform, a program that allows some businesses to make sales right on their Yelp pages. Rolling out category by category, the service is starting with food pickup and delivery and expanding to other service businesses later on. -- TechCrunch

Top talent is leaving Facebook.
Little more than a year after Facebook's IPO last May, prominent Facebook employees are jumping ship. Tim Van Damme, the lead designer for Instagram, is reportedly leaving to take a job at Dropbox. Josh Williams, founder of Gowalla, a startup acquired by Facebook, is also out the door. He reportedly plans to work on another startup. And finally, Tom Arrix, the social network's head of North American sales, announced his departure this week. As of now, it's unclear whether we're seeing the start of a mass exodus or merely the usual turnover as a successful company grows beyond its original mission. -- Business Insider

Foursquare introduces ads that pop up when users check in.
Foursquare has brought ads to its mobile apps for the first time, but they aren't banner ads. Instead, the social network is partnering with brands like Captain Morgan and Toys 'R' Us to provide relevant ads that appear when you check into restaurants, bars and other hotspots. For instance, a Toys 'R' Us ad might provide a coupon when users check into a kid-friendly location like a playground. -- The Verge

Honda uses Vine for customer service.
As part of a multi-channel promotion for its summer clearance sales event, Honda is sending custom Vines to Twitter users. The automaker is encouraging users to tweet using the hashtag #wantnewcar, a bid to swap in their older vehicles for a new Honda. And at least some of them will get their very own six-second video in response. -- AllTwitter

The Syfy Channel taps social media for Sharknado sequel title.
The Syfy Channel knows a good thing when it sees it, even if that thing is a schlocky action-horror movie. The channel's made-for-TV movie Sharknado became a Twitter phenomenon last week, and that success prompted a re-airing as well as plans for a sequel. To drive more social-media engagement, Syfy is encouraging fans to tweet suggestions for the sequel's title with the #Sharknado hashtag. -- Lost Remote
 

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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