Yelp Adds 20 Features Plus AI to Help Users and Businesses

Yelp is introducing more than 20 new updates to improve the experience for community members and business owners. Included are AI-powered summaries that make it easier to find businesses, an updated Yelp Elite badge for reviewers who are passionate about specific subjects, and a new visual home feed and search experience geared toward discovery. For those seeking services, the new “Request a Quote” and “Projects” features are available. Artificial intelligence will also power market and competitive insights for business owners, while AI-powered smart budgets provide recommendations to optimize ad spend, “helping local businesses grow.”

“For years, we’ve leveraged AI to help reduce consumers’ decision paralysis — from spotlighting the most popular dishes and drinks, to using LLMs to power review highlights for more nuanced searches,” explains Chief Product Officer Craig Saldanha in a blog post that describes how 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.”

The company has also added number masking for better privacy while contacting businesses.

The changes are, at the moment, only for iOS users, with an Android rollout planned in the next few months,” reports TechCrunch, noting that the thrust is “to show more visual content,” including videos posted by businesses.

“Last year, the company rolled out the ability for users to post 12-second video reviews. In the coming months, the revamped feed will also feature these videos,” TechCrunch writes.

Yelp is introducing a new search experience for the iOS app that “will show popular searches, recent searches, and recently viewed businesses even before you type in a query,” according to TechCrunch.

“Yelp is also revamping its home feed with AI to help businesses, especially those who have just joined the platform, connect with potential customers more easily and grow their business,” VentureBeat reports, adding that “the new feed will use AI to surface new businesses in a user’s community, complete with relevant photos shared by other users and video content.”

Yelp did not disclose which LLMs it is using to power its platform, which The Verge suggests “sounds similar to what companies like Amazon and Newegg are doing to summarize reviews, but Yelp’s version is a bit less comprehensive as it doesn’t pick out any pros and cons cited by users.”

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