Google has unveiled Hotpot, a Google Places-driven recommendation engine that lets users share reviews and recommendations with their social graph. The system uses Gmail contacts and Google profiles to create friends lists, and lets users filter restaurant and venue reviews accordingly. "Not only has Google beaten Facebook to the punch with its early release of a Places recommendation engine, it's also giving businesses even more reason to set up Places pages and start thinking about their location-based advertising," Jolie O'Dell writes.

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