I’ve said it before, and the buzz keeps getting louder. web 2.0 is not only making the world a smaller place – it is making it easier to find out about and interact with people and businesses in your own backyard. here’s some of the smart phone applications that are making it happen.
readers of the qualified yes know about my soft spot for foursquare and, more recently, google places. I classify these separately – foursquare tell me where people are, and google’s places directory tells me what’s close and what people thought of it.
there’s been some press lately for relative veteran yelp, which has deep content on a ton of businesses. apparently yelp introduced check ins this week. currently checkins are only available on the iphone app:
yelp has the requisite smart phone applications and could become a category killer, combining venue locations and reviews with foursquare’s social aspects. a peek at the yelp app on the droid shows that for now, yelp remains more of a threat to the places directory I raved about:
yelp is clearly more socially oriented, placing restaurants, bars and coffee shops at the top of the list. google places a favorites category on top, but if the app is for finding stuff I don’t know about yet, that might be of limited utility. similarly, yelp offers a “hot on yelp” section, which aggregates top rated venues from all categories – I’m not looking for a neighborhood review. the real differentiator is yelp’s sales and special offers section
yelp clearly outpaces the google product here. foursquare also offers specials and has more of a fun element, but lacks yelp’s smooth integration with google maps and navigation (android only, sorry). so what will foursquare do about the threat. an article on readwriteweb seems less than thrilled about yelp getting into the check in game, and speculates that the services could co-exist. once yelp checkins hit android, I will follow up and let you know who my road buddy is.
do you use any of these applications? do you think yelp will take over the space? let me and the rest of the world know in the comments!
photo credit: patrick q CC 2.0