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October 17, 2011

Yelp, Siri Says

While unveiling the new iPhone 4S, the SVP of iOS Software at Apple, Scott Forstall, also shared one of its newest features, a voice-activated personal assistant: Siri.

Among other tasks, Siri will take advantage of Yelp reviews to show you the businesses nearby -- and she'll even read them aloud for you automatically! How does it work? Perhaps you’re strolling down Madison Avenue and break a heel. Besides cursing Christian Louboutin (or in my case, Nine West), pull out your iPhone 4S, tell Siri you need a cobbler and voila! She’ll pull up a list of nearby shoe repair shops via Yelp -- helpfully sorted by rating. (She’s also a sassy thing so be careful what you ask her...)

Apple-siri-yelp engadget

Photo Credit: Engadget

Since launching with the iTunes store way back in 2008, Yelp has long been an Apple supporter. In fact, James Temple of The San Francisco Chronicle recently asked Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman: “How Apple has affected the business of Yelp... The iPhone in particular must have had a huge impact on the way that people use the service over mobile devices.”

Jeremy responded: “The iPhone launch and the subsequent opening of the App Store was a bit of an atomic bomb in our space. It really changed the landscape forever. We always thought mobile would be a big part of what we did, but until the iPhone there was no mainstream mobile web browsing experience. We, of course, are all Apple fan boys and in 2008, most of the engineering staff had iPhones. So we were very excited about having an app that would marry this content with the user on the go. It just changed the game. I find the search experience on Yelp when using an app is just far more intuitive than on the web.”

Since then, mobile has, in fact, become a big part of what we do -- including a recent (and very fancy!) upgrade to our mobile site: m.yelp.com. One thing’s for sure: whether at their desk or on the go, consumers are relying on Yelp to help them spend their hard-earned money -- and starting today, now it will be even easier with an iPhone 4S (and Siri!).

Yelp Mobile Metrics, August 2011:

  • Yelp had over 5 million unique visitors to our mobile apps -- 63 million total unique visitors to Yelp.com 8.5 million of which were from mobile browsers.
  • More than 2,216,896 calls were made from a Yelp app. That’s nearly 9 calls every 10 seconds to a local business.
  • Over 40% of all Yelp searches were done on one of our mobile apps.