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How Pokémon GO could have a big impact on Yelp

The augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon GO, out less than a month, has already been downloaded an estimated 75 million times. That’s more than the red-hot dating app Tinder, and it’s approaching the 150 million daily active users of Snapchat.

More than three weeks after its release, it is still No. 2 in the iOS App Store. It’s the most viral mobile game of all time, and it has business implications not just for Nintendo, which owns one-third of The Pokémon Company and invested in developer Niantic, but for other, more established tech companies—like Yelp.

Yelp has been around since 2004, and went public (YELP) in 2012. It was the early leader in user-generated restaurant reviews, but has faced increased competition in recent years from Google (which owns Zagat), TripAdvisor, and others. And now, strangely, Pokémon Go could cause Yelp some trouble, too—or it could give the app a boost. Yelp is hoping the latter.

Last week, Yelp added a filter to its mobile app to show which restaurants have PokéStops nearby. (PokéStops, within the game, are designated buildings or destinations that can yield extra pokéballs or other goodies when visited.) Think about the significance of this: a 10-day old mobile game so...


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