- Yelp added over 20 features to its platform for customers and business owners as part of its Winter Product Release, the company said in a press release Tuesday.
- Several customer-facing updates use artificial intelligence, including business summaries and enhanced home feeds.
- Yelp previously added AI-powered features last April using large language models to highlight relevant reviews under business listings, and to suggest businesses across the U.S. instead of just within a customer’s geographic area.
Yelp’s latest customer-facing features are meant to improve discoverability and “engage users and inspire them to contribute high-quality content,” the company said.
On iOS platforms, home feeds will use AI to showcase relevant user photos, collections from Yelp Elites and video content from nearby businesses. In the next few months, the homepage will also include user videos. Yelp will also use large language models to create business summaries for restaurant, food and nightlife businesses based on content from reviews. The summaries will highlight various elements like atmosphere, service amenities, value or popular dishes.
A new suggestions page will highlight popular and recent searches. When users search for restaurants, food and nightlife, they will see more visual, photo-heavy business listings, a “People also search for” feature and carousels that showcase user photos of popular dishes for frequently searched for foods.
“Rolling out features that make life easier, delight our users and leverage advanced technology allow us to deliver a seamless consumer experience and more effectively match businesses with valuable leads,” Craig Saldanha, chief product officer at Yelp, said in a statement.
The new home feed, search experience and business summaries will be added to Android devices later this year.
Users who write reviews for over 165 restaurants, food and nightlife categories — like tacos, cocktails, coffee and others — will be able to earn Recognitions. These are granted if an individual writes at least three reviews within a year for businesses within one select category. More categories will be added this year. Additionally, users will see more interactive review topics across non-restaurant categories like home, local, professional and auto services.
Improving user engagement is a part of Yelp’s ongoing business strategy. Things like adding more components like photos and videos to reviews helped drive more contributions to the platform, Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO, said during a November earnings call.
“Yelp is not a place where we just want you to check out photos of your family or a cat stuck in a tree. It's very down-funnel, intent-driven, where we want consumers that are trying to find the very best in their city or the important services to fix a need in their home. And so, we're going to continue to innovate on that,” Stoppelman said.