Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, announced it will launch new personalization functionality that tailors the app to people’s individual preferences and lifestyle. For the first time, when two users with different lifestyles open up the Yelp app from the same location, they’ll see a completely different homescreen and search results based on their personal preferences. Yelp users will now find it easier to discover their favorite types of businesses, faster. The option to personalize Yelp will begin rolling out to iOS and Android app users today.
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Yelp launches new personalized app experience, making Yelp more yours and saving you time. (Graphic: Business Wire)
As part of the new update, users will be able to indicate their personal dietary and accessibility preferences, lifestyle attributes — like whether they’re a parent or homeowner — and things they like to do. Yelp will do the heavy lifting by processing the information in real-time and transforming the user’s homescreen and search results into a completely personalized experience represented by Yelp’s newly created heart symbol — including search result rankings, shortcuts to filters, and personalized highlights that tell the user why they might like the business based on their preferences.
“As Yelp turns 15 this year, we’re embarking on one of our most significant product updates with the introduction of a new personalized experience,” said Vivek Patel, Yelp’s chief product officer. “Yelp has always been a helpful discovery platform that surfaces great local businesses based on your search. By making it more personalized, we’re saving people time and giving them an easy way to find the right business for them. Now, Yelp will help you discover businesses and activities based on who you are and what you like to do.”
With its vast amount of rich content and data — which includes more than 192 million reviews, as well as millions of photos and attributes generated by an engaged community of users and business owners — Yelp is able to identify and surface business information that is deeply aligned with consumer needs. Rather than serving recommendations solely based on a user’s search history, Yelp is starting an open conversation with consumers to better understand their preferences and interests in order to customize the app to show them what they want to see more of. The preferences a consumer shares with Yelp will only be visible to them, and the information will only be used to personalize their experience on Yelp.
Personalize Your Experience on Yelp
Yelp is making it easier and faster than ever to find a business that’s right “for you” based on personal preferences:
- Dietary Preferences: 32 million Americans1 have food allergies and many more care about what they eat. Yelp is now surfacing information that helps people discover which restaurants have options for those who are gluten-free, halal, keto, kosher, pescatarian, vegan or vegetarian. Personalized highlights within their search results will identify if a restaurant has some or many food options based on their dietary preferences.
- Food and Drink: People can choose from more than 30 food and drink categories — from brunch to happy hour, and Chinese to pizza — letting Yelp confidently recommend cuisines they’ll enjoy most.
- Interests: The new personalized Yelp experience will suggest more than just restaurants. People can also select their favorite things to do, so Yelp can recommend activities most relevant to them — including surfacing live music bars, farmers markets, date night spots, suggesting kids activities, hikes and more.
- Lifestyle: Parents and pet owners can better plan their next outing with personalized shortcuts to filters. We’re also helping people find their next go-to business, whether that’s a new hair salon, massage spot or landscaper.
- Accessibility: People who need wheelchair accessibility or gender neutral restrooms will benefit from greater visibility of relevant search filters and personalized highlights within their search results.
Personalizing Yelp is now an option for millions of app users, with all iOS users expected to have access this fall. To start personalizing your Yelp experience, download the latest version of the Yelp app in the App Store. While Android users can currently access the new search functionalities, the full experience will be available next year.
The launch of a more personalized Yelp marks the beginning of major product changes the company is undertaking to significantly evolve and improve the consumer experience. In the next year, Yelp will unveil a new design of its app and website that better integrates all of Yelp’s products that save consumers time and money, including Yelp Reservations, Waitlist and Request a Quote.
Yelp Inc. (www.yelp.com) connects people with great local businesses. With unmatched local business information, photos and review content, Yelp provides a one-stop local platform for consumers to discover, connect and transact with local businesses of all sizes by making it easy to request a quote, join a waitlist, and make a reservation, appointment or purchase. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004.
1 “Facts and Statistics.” Food Allergy Research & Education, https://www.foodallergy.org/life-with-food-allergies/food-allergy-101/facts-and-statistics.