April 5, 2011 at 5:39 PM ET
All of you who like to compliment and complain, congratulations: You've made Yelp into a 50 million-strong site, with more unique monthly visitors and reviews than ever before.
Just yesterday, the local-centric site crossed the threshold into 50 million monthly unique visitors, up from 46 million the previous month and 45 million in January. As of then, it reported 15 million reviews. As of March, it's got 17 million.
Yelp spokeswoman Chantelle Karl confirmed those figures and added that in the first quarter, "Yelpers cranked out over 2 million reviews — more than doubling our quarterly review average. To put this number in context, we traditionally see about 1 million reviews contributed every 3 months."
She also gave us statistics on Yelp Mobile, which saw 3.8 million unique visitors as of March. "We refer to traffic not downloads for several reasons but mainly because it's a more accurate representation of people using our app. Additionally, every other second, yelpers call a local business from a Yelp app." One-third of all searches on Yelp.com come from mobile sources.
Karl attributes the growth "to Yelp's slow and steady approach. In our seven years, we've gone to great lengths to ensure we are a community review website; not a drive-by one. This focus and emphasis on a community of trusted users is the reason why millions of people turn to Yelp each month to figure out how to spend their hard earned money: because they trust the content and find it useful above any other online review guide out there."
To see how Yelp got from there to here, we'll share this timeline off their site (click on the image to enlarge):
But Yelp has responded to some of the pressure from the Groupons and LivingSocials of the world, offering city-specific Yelp Deals. Also in recent developments: mobile integration with OpenTable and more free tools for business owners (including those overseas).
The January fact sheet shows that Yelp's bread and butter is still restaurants, commanding 26 percent of the reviews, but shopping is a close second with 24 percent. (Those numbers have only changed incrementally to 25 and 24 percent.)
For the most part, the good reviews outweigh the bad, with 66 percent giving businesses at least 4 stars.
You can read more about Yelp's developments on its official blog.
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