Yelp provides business listings and Yelp combines local reviews and social networking functionality to create a local online community. It has recently ventured to Singapore where it will face off local competitor such as HungryGoWhere which is now backed by Singtel and other business aggregators like StreetDirectory. Is there room for the two giants?
Quick searches on Yelp shows that it already has a pretty good listing database already and its likely to improve quite significantly over the course of the next few months as more users hop on. Reviews on the other hand are what it is losing out with most places only having 1 or 2 reviews. I actually suspect most of the initial reviews submitted by Yelp staff or their friends and family. The type of comments and multiple reviews just seem suspicious! HungryGoWhere has a very well established review system in place and its much easier to get opinions on the restaurant. With Yelp’s strong social links, I would expect Yelp to take off pretty soon on the review aspect in the next few months. Additionally, what is important would be the ease of concept between the two to allow users to add reviews and Yelp may have the advantage here, and that’s where the Yelp! mobile app stands out with it being rated much higher as compared to HungryGoWhere.
Yelp’s other advantage lies in the fact that it is not only a food app and would also help you search for other type of businesses, so a single app could replace HungryGoWhere and others.
A global user database might open up reviews to more tourists which could be a unique niche market for them. It would definitely help many tourist who want to find cool places, shops, foods etc. Very common things that most people love. This kind of application is really useful for those on vacation and would be good for those with a Yelp account currently.
SingTel once claimed it has the largest food and lifestyle audience in Singapore after it acquired HungryGoWhere. With Yelp coming in to spice up the market, it would be interesting to see in a few months time who is prevailing.