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Yelp's app reviews are my favorite thing in iTunes

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Plus one, would eat there again

Yelp is the hotdish of apps. It's tater tots thrown on top of a slurry of ground beef and cream of mushroom soup, baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. It's neither high class nor pretentious. Yelp is the comfort food of apps, is what I'm saying.

I like Yelp even though it's sort of passé. Depending on the city, it has far more information than Foursquare for local businesses and restaurants. It has a few extra little features that are genuinely helpful. If you were to ask me the last time the app was updated, I would probably tell you 2008. Turns out I'd be wrong: the version history is replete with regular "bug fixes and various improvements" and iterative updates. But the design feels super stale, kind of like that comfortable diner down the street whose food isn't very good, but the vinyl-covered booths are still comfortable, and they serve beer and don't screw up a basic reuben. It's kind of designed for olds who prefer stability to change.


All of which is why I get so much pleasure from reading the app reviews for Yelp on iTunes. Instead of rating the app, users are rating restaurants and bike shops and funeral parlors. Order reviews by "Most helpful," and you get dozens of critiques of random businesses and only a smattering for the actual app. These aren't oddball mistakes collected over the past half-decade. The viewable reviews refresh with each update of the app; the oldest review is from less than two weeks ago. These misplaced reviews keep appearing, update after update, and that warms my heart.


I want to go to each and every person who put their review in the wrong blank white text box and give them a hug. They're posting reviews that contribute to Yelp's score and ranking in the App Store, and I love it. I see each misplaced review as a service, keeping this greasy spoon of an app alive long after it has fallen away from the white hot center of social-local-mobile app hype.

I want to thank each of them for participating in this insane thing we call the internet, for giving back to the Yelp community even though they happened to click "post" in the wrong place. I want to give each of them a piping hot tuna fish casserole and that leftover cannoli I accidentally put in the fruit crisper drawer of my fridge. Each and every review that doesn't belong here is a sign that real people use the internet, just not self-aware hipsters who are savvy to the latest hashtag app trend. Yelp is kitsch, and the internet would a smaller, sadder place without kitsch.


Were these reviews helpful? Yes.