Yelp has introduced personalized local recommendations into its “Nearby” feature. Previously, Nearby was a list of basic categories that allowed users to find businesses by proximity and review ranking. Now, it offers a different look and feel with local recommendations built on a set of behavioral and contextual variables.
Below is the new look for Nearby.
The factors that influence what appears under Nearby recommendations are “location, previous Yelp check-ins and reviews, and Yelp friends as well as other data like the time of day and even the weather.” In other words, this is a mix of personal and social data.
Since last year, Foursquare has been seeking to differentiate from Yelp (and others) by offering recommendations built on top of an algorithm that considers check-ins likes, friend activity and general popularity.
While this change on Yelp is modest, and perhaps not as algorithmically sophisticated as what Foursquare is doing, it takes away a “selling point” for Foursquare vs. the more established app.
In its blog post announcing the new feature Yelp also reiterated that “45 percent of all searches on Yelp coming from our mobile apps.”