yelp-iphone-appNow Yelp users can check-in at their favorite locations and “broadcast your whereabouts and send Quick Tips to your friends on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter…”

I only recently started using Foursquare (my profile doesn’t reflect much more than a visit to an excellent Italian restaurant), but from what I can tell they should be worried that Yelp is going to eat their lunch.  Foursquare lets you check-in different places, broadcast your location, get tips, earn badges, and become ‘mayor’ of a location.  Yelp will let you check-in, broadcast your location and keep track of visits to a location (including a leaderboard ranking visits to a given location).

For Yelp, this is a way to jump into real-time data geo-location while adding some additional  social networking integration and if Yelp wants to add some hooks additional hooks to keep people coming back it wont take much to transform that leader board into badges and mayor-ship.

What is Yelp Check-ins? Yelp Check-ins is a way for you to broadcast that you are at a business to friends on Yelp, Facebook or Twitter. Your friends will be able to see:
- Your activity via your Yelp for iPhone profile page
- Opt-in alerts including “Push” notifications
- A Leaderboard on Yelp for iPhone
- A Map that will also show the “Check-ins” of your friends nearby and your check-in count next to your Yelp star rating if you’ve written a review on Yelp.com

- Where you’ve checked in on Monocle, Yelp’s AR feature launched in August
-Active users of Yelp Check-ins can also earn “Regular” status of highly-frequented businesses.

Geo-location data is really the missing link between social networking and people’s lives.  We’ve already highlighted geo-locations as one of the technologies to watch in 2010 and this is another example of the growth of geo-location data into the mass market.  You can expect Twitter to continue a move into geo-location data (discussed here and here) with Facebook and others not far behind.



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