In the past, users of the popular Yelp iPhone app could do just about anything on their devices that they could on the service's full website except one important thing -- leave full reviews. According to Ingrid Lunden at our sister site TechCrunch, here's how Eric Singley (VP of consumer and mobile products) responded in 2009 to a request from users to be able to leave reviews without having to resort to the desktop website:
"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...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'
Well, Yelp has apparently been seeing pressure from other apps that do allow users to leave detailed feedback -- apps like Foursquare, Groupon, Square and Facebook. The new update finally provides the capability, with a company spokesperson now saying that:
"Having to wait until you get home to say what you think is a thing of the past – if you've had a wonderful experience, you want to shout about it there and then."
Funny how competition can drive someone to change their mind, albeit slowly.
Yelp has also made some significant moves recently, re-launching its "Nearby" feature that gives users suggestions about restaurants and other businesses nearby and purchasing OpenTable competitor SeatMe. Whether that's enough to nudge the business into the black is anyone's guess.