Why Buzz.com Could Give AT&T’s Mobile Presence a Boost

AT&T (s t) is developing a new social recommendations site that it plans to use to enter the white-hot space in the coming months. Think of it as AT&T’s version of Yelp or Urban Spoon or even CitySearch and you get the picture. The effort is a long shot given how teeming the market already is with other user-review offerings, but AT&T isn’t coming to the table empty-handed.

Buzz.com, which is currently in closed alpha with a group of AT&T employees, is aimed at helping users find the right local business based on reviews from friends and family. The company is walking a well-worn path — one that’s been traveled by Google (s goog), Yahoo (s yhoo), Yelp and plenty of others — and Buzz.com has all the hallmarks of a corporate me-too offering.

But AT&T brings some muscle to the crowded space. It already has a massive database of information and a substantial local advertising operation through its Yellow Pages business, giving it a solid foundation on which to build. Just as importantly, the telecom has vast experience with mobile content. Not only could AT&T distribute a Buzz.com app to many of its 81 million-plus mobile users, it also could use the site to target consumers using other carriers’ services on the mobile web. Which would give AT&T a great chance to monetize the site as it builds a community of users across mobile networks.

Image courtesy Flickr user MrVJTod.