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June 04, 2010

Yelp Mobile: The Bridge Between Online Search and Offline Buying

We were thrilled to release our Yelp iPhone application with the launch of Apple's App Store way back in 2008. Since then, mobile has remained a huge priority. We've continually iterated on our existing iPhone app and brought Yelp to Android, Blackberry and Palm Pre. But just what exactly have our mobile applications - specifically the iPhone - meant to Yelp, business owners and consumers?
  • On average, 27% of all Yelp searches come from our iPhone App. That number dips during the week when Yelp.com traffic surges. Then on the weekend, it moves up again as people pull out their Yelp mobile apps when they're on the go - a trend we've already been seeing for quite some time!
  • Last month, over half a million calls were made to local businesses directly from our Yelp iPhone App. That's about 1 call every 5 seconds to a business as a result of Yelp.
  • Nearly a million people generated point-to-point directions to a local business from their Yelp iPhone App last month.
  • In the past 30 days, Yelp for iPhone has had over 1.4 million visitors.
In other words, Steve was on to something...


Yelp's growth has made us the leading online review guide for over 32 million monthly unique visitors around the world. But today's stats further demonstrate the dramatic shifts underway in the mobile environment. Bridging the online and the offline, mobile is the fastest growing way people are using Yelp to connect with great local businesses.

Based on this important growth in mobile usage, we're pleased to build on top of our recently released Yelp Check-ins feature. In fact, we just submitted the 5th major iteration of our iPhone application today. While not yet live, we wanted to share the details of these soon to come features:
  • Now when a user checks-in to a combination of businesses, they will be able to earn "Yelp Badges." Badges you earn will help show off where you're checking in. For example, if a yelper loves to get their nigiri on at sushi restaurants, they can earn the "Sushi Sensei" badge. The Sensei badge is only one of many badges you can unlock -- it's up to our users to figure out how. Once earned, badges can be shared with friends both via the Yelp iPhone app, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
  • If users are checking into the same businesses in a given time period and/or neighborhood, they can also earn "Royal" status.  Got the most check-ins at a business?  You're the Duke, good sir (or Duchess, for the ladies).  Most Dukedoms in a 'hood? You're the Baron! Most in the city? You're the King!   
  • Additional enhancements also include the ability to search for members on Yelp as well as some bug fixes to make sure everything is tip top.
While we know we're not the first ones to offer check-ins, and we probably won't be the last, we've found it compliments our existing mobile offerings and furthers Yelp's mission of connecting people with and supporting great local businesses. We're excited to amp up the fun on our iPhone app and for you Android-owners out there, we'll be bringing all of this to you very soon!