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The local space is heating up, with the number of hyperlocal news startups growing by the month and the big-three portals also doubling down. Given their big traffic numbers and financial might, it’s with the big portals that things could get interesting. AOL (NYSE: TWX), MSN and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) have all talked loudly about wanting to attract a bigger share of local online advertising dollars — a market that is expected to grow 12 percent this year alone. But the big players are going about it in different ways. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and Yahoo are both building pages that customize aggregated information depending on a user’s location, while AOL is also going for original content.
Below, a look at what each company offers, what it is promising for the future, and where it could run into trouble.
Approach: U.S. MSN Executive Producer Scott Moore tells us the local space is still too patchwork.