Business

To fight Google and Foursquare, Yelp frees its data

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Get ready to see Yelp reviews all over the web.

The local business discovery and review site today announced a revamped API, which increases the number of calls a third-party app can make to Yelp’s data to 25,000 calls per day, compared to an earlier 100 call limit. That 2,500% increase makes Yelp’s data far more attractive to third-party developers, which can use the company’s open API free of charge.

Yelp’s limited data access to unverified developers seemed limited compared to Foursquare, which offers 5,000 calls per hour prior to approval, and Google Places, which offers 100,000 free calls per day to folks with registered credit cards. Still, the move makes Yelp’s listings, ratings, photos, and other content much more readily available.

Yelp had been hesitant to unleash its content, afraid a competitor would scrape its data and grow larger than Yelp. Those fears weren’t wholly unfounded: In 2011, Google used Yelp review content without attributing it to Yelp, which has led to continued antagonism between the two companies.

But now that Yelp has become ubiquitous, with online reviews in the U.S. and elsewhere, the company is more concerned with maximizing exposure and ad revenue than guarding its data.

Yelp has scored major wins with companies like Apple, Yahoo, Pebble, and BMW, which use the Yelp API to supply their apps with data. This move will encourage thousands of smaller startups to join them.

 

More information:

Yelp (www.yelp.com) is a website that connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros in the United States, Canada, the United Ki... read more »

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8 comments
Pierrick Ganon
Pierrick Ganon

Without paging it's still useless as! Quality of data and API doc foursquare is way ahead...!

Erich Cervantez
Erich Cervantez

That sounds strange considering the massive amounts of negative reviews on Yelp including some of my own.

Tim Heile
Tim Heile

Yelp sucks. They made us remove a legitimate negative review despite the fact that almost all of my reviews were positive, so I had them delete me completely out of their system. How can this concept work if the ecosystem doesn't account for legitimate negative reviews? Love Amazon but no more Yelp for me.

Michael Bubbo
Michael Bubbo

They have always granted that level of API calls upon request. Been at 25k limit with multiple apps for years now. Smart move on their part, though. It will definitely get a lot more 3rd party apps to use Yelp data now.

Kevon R Binder
Kevon R Binder

Awful. Yelp is horrid, and this will just make it easier for people to share opinions that shouldn't matter.