You may recognise Yelp from hearing the name being mentioned briefly in some of your favourite US sitcoms like Happy Endings or How I Met Your Mother (that’s how I’d initially heard of it anyway). Hopefully though you’ll be hearing the name a lot more now Yelp have launched their site and their app in the UK and it’s growing fast.
For those of you who don’t know Yelp is a reviews and recommendations platform that connects people to great local businesses. All of the reviews are done by people such as yourself so you know that if it’s got a glowing review, it’ll definitely be worth it.
Yelp isn’t just limited to food and drink, you can check out nearest petrol stations, doctors, museums, hotels, hair dressers, even Leicester City’s own King Stadium is listed on Yelp.
With full integration of Yelp content in the new Apple Maps and Siri products, being the sole local content provider for Bing search, and in-dash automotive partnerships with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus Yelp has it’s virtual fingers in many tasty pies.
Now, the website is fantastic, that’s simple and easy to use, but the main reason it has interested me is the App; Available on Android, iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry it’s a perfect app for finding the best places to visit on the fly. Oh and it’s free!
The iOS app has an easy to use interface with the option to find, talk about, and review local businesses without opening up your laptop. Facebook integration is also in there and to make things even better your friends reviews come up first because friends are seen as the most trusted people.
The Yelp app has also made use of augmented reality with it’s very own ‘monocle’ feature which enables you to point your phones camera down the street and an overlay provides ratings and other useful data on which businesses are nearby!
To make Yelp reviews more legitimate they don’t allow anonymous reviews, all reviewers must be identified using a photo and their first name. This makes the existing reviews look more genuine also. Business owners and managers can also set up a free account to post photo’s of their business and message customers. A perfect way for both customers and owners to respond to each other if something isnt quite to standard! Something which other sites don’t offer.
Compared to our own Yellow Pages and Trip Advisor, Yelp for me beats both of them hands down. It’s user friendly and easy to use, and has it’s own community. I’d definitely recommend giving Yelp a browse, you never know, you might find somewhere you didn’t know about before!