Being on the road again in mostly unfamiliar cities I have been using Yelp – www.yelp.com more and more. Enabled with GPS technology on my smartphone, Yelp allows me to search out the nearest coffee shops, wine bars, restaurants and other local places of interest from wherever I am. In fact as I was driving to the airport this evening I wished I could have used Yelp to find the nearest gas station prior to returning my rental car. But texting while driving (or in this case Yelping while driving) is a no-no so I did it the old fashioned way.
Yelp also offers user reviews of the various establishments listed. While the accuracy and unbiased nature of those reviews might be in question, it’s somewhat amusing to read what people wrote about their experiences in the various locations. I thought about how Foursquare links with your friends to check in at locations (and even sends updates to Facebook if you so desire) and it dawned on me that Foursquare and Yelp might be made for each other. I want to find a location for coffee on Yelp, I go there, then check in on Foursquare and tell my ‘friends’. I also can rate the place (something that Foursquare offers in terms of a comment but it is a vastly underused feature), and share that too.
Then the rating has much more meaning since it is going to my selected friends and is not a random posting on how some stranger liked or disliked an establishment. I know nothing about this person save for their name (and photo if they so choose to post that) on Yelp and thus their recommendation holds little value for me or anyone else.
As I have noted in previous posts, Facebook Places has picked up some of the elements of Foursquare but to this point Foursquare has not pulled their link to FB nor has FB dropped Foursquare as a partner.
The combination of Yelp and Facebook would make an attractive property don’t you think?