Yelp, perhaps feeling the pressure of other local-based apps like Foursquare, has released version 7.0 of their app that includes the ability to publish reviews within the application. Previously, users were able to draft up reviews in the app, but to publish them required logging in to the Yelp.com website on a desktop computer.
The reasoning for this is explained on TechCrunch’s post regarding the update:
Back in 2009, here’s how Eric Singley, VP of consumer and mobile products, responded to the request:
“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’
We love the witty quality of the reviews and the insight that Yelpers share in their detailed accounts of their experiences. We’ve found that Quick Tips and Draft Reviews [two pre-existing short features] are mobile features that provide eager Yelpers with an outlet to catalog their immediate experiences or jot notes that they can then add to or edit when they get back to a computer. While we’re not saying that writing Yelp reviews on your mobile device is out of the question, we feel very strongly about maintaining the high level of content you all provide.”
They have now reversed course and will allow users to publish their high-quality reviews right on their iOS device.
The Yelp app is available for free in the App Store.