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Yahoo integrates Twitter and Farmville-maker Zynga, reveals other goodies

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Farmville and Facebook have long seemed inextricably tied, but there’s now another player in the picture.

That would be Yahoo Inc., which on Tuesday revealed the first phase of the integration of Farmville-maker Zynga’s popular social games into the Internet company’s network.

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Users can now play and share games such as Mafia Wars and Fishville across Yahoo’s homepage, games site, e-mail and messenger system. The new relationship doesn’t affect Zynga’s current set-up with Facebook, which involves millions of faithful gamers.

But it could be the start of something big for Yahoo, which was busy Tuesday showing off a slew of other offerings. The new Yahoo Messenger beta -- now integrated with Flickr, Facebook and Twitter as well as Zynga -- enables viewing and commenting on updates from the instant messaging client.

Yahoo is also launching in a limited trial its Local Offers program, which will feature discounts and deals for spas, restaurants and other businesses. Partners include Groupon, LivingSocial, GiltCity, Coupons.com and Valpak.

Later this week, the improved Sketch-a-Search function will also be available, letting viewers focus in on an map to find local businesses using their computers, iPhones or iPads. Yahoo users will also be able to make OpenTable restaurant reservations directly from the search page.

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-- Tiffany Hsu


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