Yelp Joins The Party, Introduces Location-Based Rewards For Location Check Ins

Though it seems they’re a bit late to jump on the bandwagon, Yelp announced today they’re now offering location-based rewards to users who check in to certain locations.

Yelp’s mobile applications, and service in general, are widely popular, with the company only introducing check-in functionality last January.  Since that launch, the company said it’s seen 50% month-over-month average growth on check-ins, although it makes no mention of how that translates in terms of users.  Like Foursquare, Gowalla, and the droves of other LBS applications, Yelp finally supports rewards for check-ins, allowing businesses to better leverage the Yelp network.

The company says there’s already over 1,500 Yelp check-in offers to get the ball rolling, and that it’s currently only available on the Android version of its app.  An iPhone version is in the pipeline, the company said.  While I would normally criticize a move like this into an already saturated market where studies have shown users aren’t very responsive on a large scale, the fact that Yelp has created a rather vibrant community surrounding restaurants and similar businesses could mean success on the LBS rewards front.

A lot of people, including myself, frequently turn to Yelp to find coffee houses, interesting restaurants, etc., and seeing a reward within the search results could definitely sway me.  I’ll be anxious to see how the strategy plays out and to see what kind of rewards start flowing.