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Google+ deposits Places in toilet after hungry Zagat buy

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Google+ users still aren't sharing anywhere near as much as Google might like them to, so, perhaps to help the reluctant Web2.0 networkers along, the company has added a new local tool that has effectively killed off the Places product.

Mountain View has replaced all of those pages with new Google+ Local pages.

The search giant bought US restaurant guide Zagat in September last year and it has now begun integrating that eat-out food review feature by letting its users rate what they consider to be the best places to nosh on fries and a milkshake, for example.

It's not only been melded into Google's search, Maps and mobile products but it also available as a new side tab within Google+.

"Zagat has offered high-quality reviews, based on user-written submissions and surveys, of tens of thousands of places for more than three decades. All of Zagat’s accurate scores and summaries are now highlighted on Google+ local pages," Google said.

The US restaurant review bible was founded before Mark Zuckerberg was born: in 1979, when Larry Page was a seven-year-old boy pondering how to make tons of cash out of shiny adverts. Probably.

Coincidentally, Facebook ditched its own smartphone-only Places feature in August last year in favour of ramping up its location settings to get users to opt in to the service so they can broadcast to the world exactly which coffee house or fried-chicken joint they were hanging out in.

Meanwhile, Orkut – Google's other social network, which is popular in Brazil – is finally being primed for Google+ integration.

The company confirmed yesterday that profiles between the two networks could now be linked together, but added that it was optional – for now at least. ®

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