Foursquare started to step on Yelp's feet when the company began to focus on business listings. Yelp isn't giving up the fight, though. Instead, Yelp has just announced a new feature that helps users find local businesses using location information.
This new feature is available through the Yelp app, and it's a great way for Yelp to take Foursquare head on. Yelp's latest location feature is called 'Nearby,' and it's a feature that travelers will love to use.
Yelp's Nearby Feature
Not only does Yelp's Nearby feature let you find a business that's near your current location, you can also see what your friends have said about a particular business. Since Yelp is primarily a review site, the company is combining location information with reviews to bring users the best of both worlds.
Additionally, Yelp will consider the places that you have reviewed in the past, and the app will offer recommendations based on what you have liked or disliked. This way, you can determine whether or not you will actually enjoy that seafood restaurant you see across the street.
Yelp hasn't stopped at location and recommendation details. The company has just added a weather and time of day feature. These features will help those that are currently traveling and aren't sure of the present weather forecast (for example: traveling to a zoo if it's about to rain probably isn't the best idea).
In addition to completely redesigning its app, Yelp has also redesigned the company's events page. On the main site, popular event listings that have received great reviews will be listed first. This translates to the app where those popular reviews will appear in the Nearby tab. So, you'll have a complete picture when you are searching for a local business.
Why So Much Mobile Emphasis?
Why is Yelp putting so much emphasis on its mobile app? The company has recently told press that more than half of Yelp searches now come from Mobile. This is something that Foursquare has been working on as well. The increase in mobile usage makes sense. If you are out traveling, you are far more likely to pick up your phone and search for a business, right? Yelp and Foursquare understand searches, that's for sure.
If you want to get your hands on the Yelp app, you will need to have an iPhone. Right now, the app is only available for iOS. Yelp has stated that the app is coming to Android soon, but no specific date has been set. At first use, the Yelp app helped me find my way around a new town, showed me lots of great recommendations, and provided me with location information.
In this reviewer's estimation, the Yelp app is worth downloading if you are traveling, need help finding a business, and want to go somewhere reliable. Do you use your smartphone to find places to try out? Would you use Yelp? There's no doubt about it: Yelp is new, improved, and ready to travel wherever you go. Check it out!