Many location-aware social apps, like Foursquare and Brightkite, offer the ability to “check in” to a location. And now Yelp, which has a much larger community than all the location-aware apps before it (1.25 million people used the Yelp app last month), has added its own check-in feature with a brand new update.
When you check in, you can choose to broadcast your location and send tips to your friends, including via Facebook and Twitter. If you check in frequently, you can win “regular” status. When you look at a location, the most frequent “regular” is highlighted, similar to the “mayor” status on Foursquare.
Explains Yelp: “Check-ins will also be integrated into our website experience, adding another layer of trusted data for consumers who are reading the reviews. Now not only will you be able to see who posted the review – but how many times they’ve been there. This also helps business owners understand who some of their most loyal customers are.” And yes, businesses will be able to upload special offers to their regulars.
This is possibly very powerful, especially given Yelp’s scale, both in users and businesses, the latter of which often check their reviews several times a week. (And just imagine, what if Google really does buy Yelp.) One more thing to mention: your friends’ check-ins, if they’re cleared to share, are visible on Yelp Monocle, the augmented reality section of its 3GS app. More on the new app update from Yelp’s blog here.