Yelp has one of the most popular apps on the iPhone, but its Android app is catching on too. Launched last December, the app is approaching one million downloads and activity on the app is picking up like crazy due to a recent upgrade that adds the ability to check into Yelp locations and Tweet them out or share them on Facebook. The number of active users is growing 50 percent week over week, according to Yelp.
Across all mobile phones (iPhone, Blackberry, Android), Yelp has 2.5 million active users a month. The vast majority of those are still on the iPhone. And while, this is only a small fraction (7 percent) of the 34 million monthly unique visitors going to the Website, mobile users account for 27 percent of Yelp’s local searches. CEO Jeremy Stoppleman tells me that mobile is Yelps’ “fastest area of growth.”
With 2.5 million active mobile app users, Yelp has slightly more active mobile users than Foursquare has total registered users, and it is definitely moving into Foursquare’s territory with its check-ins and recent addition of badges, dukedoms, and kingdoms. And while you can broadcast your check-ins to Twitter or Facebook, Yelp does not let you check into Foursquare from its apps.
The game mechanics are definitely driving usage, but one thing you can’t do on Yelp’s mobile apps is post reviews! “It would just be annoying if the average review had punctuation errors and was obviously written on the phone,” explains Stoppleman, “so we added quick tips instead.” I predict he will have to bend and let mobile reviews take over. I’ll be sure to ask him about his stance at our Social Currency Crunchup on July 30, where Stoppleman will be speaking along with Google VP John Hanke (who heads up Google Places, Maps, earth, and local search).