Yelp has built a hugely successful business around its millions of user-submitted local reviews. Yet prior to today, the company didn't allow reviews to be published from a smartphone. To the delight of its community, Yelp has finally reversed course on that poorly thought out policy. A newly released update for Yelp on iPhone adds the ability to pen reviews for any local business directly within the app. Before, iPhone users were limited to posting brief "quick tips," requiring more thorough feedback to be published from a desktop or laptop. Now you can instantly tell the world about an experience, whether it was a meal gone horribly wrong or the best hotel stay you've ever had.
A sensible reversal that took too long
However mind-boggling the original decision may seem, it was a conscientious choice. Back in 2009, Yelp made the case that tips (and the option to draft reviews) allowed members to share "immediate experiences" with the community — even if they couldn't thumb out an entire review on the go. Almost four years later, the company has finally evolved its view on mobile reviews. "Nowadays, people are more mobile savvy and are becoming used to contributing long-form content directly from their device," reads today's blog post announcing the change. Further, Yelp acknowledges that in a "post PC" world, some users may never visit its website from a desktop PC.
But the company will still be actively taking steps to ensure the "quality" of full reviews. If a submitted review is too short, for example, Yelp will automatically convert it to a tip and keep it out of the proper review pool. "Yelpers can always go back and add in more detail later to flesh it out into a full-fledged review," it says. Yelp users on iPhone can begin writing reviews today, and an Android update with the same functionality is "coming soon."