Yelp has announced a pretty significant change of course: Its mobile app will now allow users to write and publish full business reviews.
There’s an update for Yelp’s iOS app that’s available now, and it includes a new “Add Review” button on all business profiles. (Yelp says this functionality is “coming soon” for Android app users.)
It’s a big change for Yelp, which has consistently stuck to its belief that allowing mobile review publishing would lead to lower-quality reviews. That’s why Yelp has only allowed leaving tips via its mobile app, and asked users to write full reviews only from their desktop computers (or laptops). Why the change? Here’s an excerpt from Yelp’s blog post:
Mobile phone usage has come a long way since the days of the hunt-and-peck, shorthand “C U L8R” texts. Nowadays, people are more mobile savvy and are becoming used to contributing long-form content directly from their device. These days, many people are interacting with Yelp solely through their mobile device.
Yelp’s still concerned with review quality, though, and is actually hedging its bets a bit here. The company says it may convert reviews that are too short into tips. Users would then be able to return to Yelp (presumably from a desktop or laptop computer) and turn the tip back into a review by writing more.