Yelp, in its eternal battle with Google to stay relevant as the go-to place for picking the best restaurant in your city, is back with another huge product update, and — of course — it’s bringing artificial intelligence into the fight.
Craig Saldanha, Chief Product Officer at Yelp, announced what the company is calling the 2024 Winter Product Release. In a statement, Saldanha said, “We’re announcing more than 20 new features and updates across the Yelp platform that make it more seamless and engaging for users to discover and connect with great local businesses in their community.”
New AI-powered business summaries surface short, unique insights that detail what you can expect at a business; and fun, new Recognitions celebrate your helpful reviews. You’ll also find a more visual and engaging home feed and search experience that brings local businesses to life, new features that make it easier than ever to connect and coordinate with service professionals that meet your exact needs, and more. For business owners, we’re introducing new updates that help them operate more efficiently, better compete in their local markets, and grow their business.
The feature users will notice most right away is the new AI-powered business summaries. The company says it is using artificial intelligence to read the reviews left by users and then turn that into a simple summary of what to expect from the business. Yelp says the feature is launching first on iOS with plans to roll out on Android and desktop “later this year.”
Now, new AI-powered business summaries leverage LLMs to parse recent reviews and describe what you can expect at the business, helping you quickly find a business that fits your needs at a glance. At the top of restaurant, food and nightlife business pages, these unique summaries highlight what the business is best known for based on first-hand reviews from users — such as the atmosphere, service, amenities, value, or a popular dish.
In addition to the AI summaries, the release also includes a new home feed for its app that uses AI to show the most relevant user photos from the businesses you are looking for. The company says, “You can expect to see autoplay video updates from restaurant, food, and nightlife businesses via Yelp Connect posts, as well as Collections from Yelp Elites.” This feature is also rolling out first on iOS, with Android coming later.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all of the features announced today:
- AI-powered business summaries that make it even easier to find a business that fits your needs with a quick glance.
- Recognitions that celebrate and distinguish reviewers who are passionate about a specific food, cuisine or nightlife category.
- A new visual home feed and search experience enhance discovery, helping you quickly and easily find your new favorite restaurant.
- New updates to the services experience, such as enhancements to Request a Quote and new ‘Projects’ features, make it easier to find the right service professional for your needs, as well as quickly and efficiently get your projects done.
- A revamped business owner experience that delivers valuable market and competitive insights, while AI-powered smart budgets provide useful recommendations to optimize ad spend, helping local businesses grow and better compete in their markets.
If you want to see more, the company shared a video detailing all of the new features: