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December 17, 2009

Ask Yelp: Why can't I write reviews from my mobile?

Over here in Yelpland, we get quite a few questions on everything from our products and people to just about everything in between. We do our best to answer these via our FAQ, our customer service team, and of course, this here blog. But we've also been toying with incorporating a more formal way to address your questions. Today, we're kicking off a test run of "Ask Yelp." If popular, "Ask Yelp" will become a monthly column that addresses your most pertinent questions asked via our Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag #AskYelp.

Without further ado, let's get to it with a question that's been on many of your minds.

Dear Yelp,

Why can't I write and publish Yelp reviews from my mobile?

Sincerely,

24/7 Yelper

**************

Thanks for your question! We occasionally hear from other passionate Yelpers on why we haven't enabled review publishing from our mobile applications. There are several reasons why we do this, but first, let me explain the ways you CAN contribute content from your mobile device; specifically, Yelp for iPhone.

Quick Tips is a feature that we launched in April 2009. Quick Tips allows folks to leave a 140 character, short and sweet description of businesses whether it's insight on the best time to grab a seat, beers on tap, speedy service, etc. Additionally, you can also draft full fledged reviews from your iPhone that will be waiting for you to polish up when you get back to your home-base and photo uploading has proved very popular, as well - and don't you other device holders fret, we plan to add these features for our other applications in the very near future, as well.

But why not full reviews? Well imagine what it would be like if reviews were done in SMS shorthand: "OK so, IANAE, but AFAIC this place has THE best Cfood. It was gr8! ADBB" 

Um, yeah. 

We love the witty quality of the reviews and the insight that Yelpers share in their detailed accounts of their experiences. We've found that Quick Tips and Draft Reviews are mobile features that provide eager Yelpers with an outlet to catalog their immediate experiences or jot notes that they can then add to or edit when they get back to a computer. While we're not saying that writing Yelp reviews on your mobile device is out of the question, we feel very strongly about maintaining the high level of content you all provide. Saying that, we know mobile is increasingly a part of everyone's everyday life (I mean, my iPhone is practically sewn to my hand!), so you can continue to expect many great things from our mobile team on a variety of platforms in the very near future.