Apple's Most Useful Social App Isn't From Apple

Are investors giving Yelp (NYSE: YELP  ) its due? After switching from Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Local app for a week, Fool contributor Tim Beyers isn't so sure.

Yelp comes off as offering the best of Foursquare and Google in a neat package that benefits from sharp improvements in Apple's mapping technology. A new "Nearby" tab for iOS users is particularly helpful, especially when it comes to finding frequently used services in a place you've never been before. Scouring social check-ins can also make it easier to find the right spot fast, Tim says in the following video.

A 68% surge in Yelp's first-quarter revenue speaks to increased advertiser interest. Mobile devices are largely responsible for the gains: 10 million handsets orchestrated 15 million calls to local businesses via Yelp in Q1.

Google, for its part, is battling back by making it easier for users to submit restaurant reviews. That there's a race at all suggests Yelp has found a niche it can exploit. It wouldn't be too surprising to see Apple make a bid to acquire the business outright.

Do you agree? Watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Yelp stock at current prices.

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  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 11:38 AM, FutureMonkey wrote:

    Ugh -- predatory is hardly the word to describe YELP's shakedown of business owners. Owners that refuses to pay for their extra services or "protection money" as I refer to it, will find their negative reviews at the top and positive reviews flagged and removed. Any time we called to have a false review, we are solicited to pay YELP money in some shady quid pro quo -- wink wink --- scheme...if we don't pay the review stays. YELP is a distorted, twisted version of a public review forum. Once people realize that the ratings can and are manipulated by both businesses and YELP itself the trust factor disappears and the business model collapses. It's like finding out that manufacturers pay Consumer Reports routinely get good reviews of their products high and manufactures that refuse to pay get bad ratings. How long would you subscribe to CR?

    I'm not saying that YELP won't make money, sadly they probably will, but I have no respect for how they make money.


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