In the neighborhood but don’t know exactly where to go? Just fire up Yelp on your mobile device.
In a company blog post, the online reviews aggregator and local search app Yelp announced that it has redesigned its “Nearby” tab in order to serve up nearby venue suggestions to people. (The update is now available for the app’s iPhone users; the Android version is coming soon.)
Addressing Yelp’s individual users, Travis Brooks, Yelp.com Product Manager, wrote: “Starting today, we’ve revamped our Nearby tab to present you with suggestions geared toward you, where you are and what you are in the mood for. Our updated Nearby tab now offers suggestions based on your location, previous Yelp check-ins and reviews, and Yelp friends as well as other data like the time of day and even the weather.”
(Check out: “Don’t Lose Your Cool, Says Yelp Local Biz Outreach Manager”)
If it looks familiar, well – look no further than a couple of Yelp’s closest competitors. As a CNET story noted, the new feature bears striking resemblance to Foursquare’s local business discovery feature: Explore. Wrote Jennifer Van Grove: “For those who’ve long turned to Foursquare to unearth a new watering hole or karaoke joint, Yelp’s updated Nearby tab will look familiar – very familiar. Even Yelp’s suggestive prompts, like ‘Looking for an afternoon bite?’, have a reminiscent ring to them.”
It’s not just Foursquare, though. The new Yelp Nearby tab also reminds us of another app: one that’s used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Late last year, Facebook introduced “Nearby”: a similar location-based feature that displays recommendations (complete with a five-star rating system) from Facebook friends about local businesses or places to visit.
“With approximately 45 percent of all searches on Yelp coming from our mobile apps (as of Q1 2013), we know consumers are turning to Yelp mobile to find great local businesses,” added Brooks. “Now, with the new Nearby page, we’re giving these users a new way to discover Yelpy spots spontaneously.”