Mountain View, Calif. – Google (NASD: GOOG) has introduced
"Hotpot," a new feature for its Google Places listings of local
businesses that provides recommendations based on the suggestions of friends
and other Google users.
The service tracks a user’s reviews in Google Places,
learning preferences to display recommendations of local restaurants, stores
and other venues alongside aggregated reviews from third-party services like
Yelp and Urbanspoon.
Wired notes that the process of adding friends to the
service does not feature a good deal of automation, perhaps a cautionary move
following the privacy controversy that followed the launch of Google Buzz.