San Francisco-based Yelp, a website that has made a name online through crowd-sourced reviews of businesses, has opened its local version with the launch of Yelp Philippines.
The Philippine site officially became live on Thursday, June 25, allowing Filipinos to read reviews about local businesses and create accounts on Yelp.com.ph to share their opinions. Yelp’s free iPhone and Android apps will be available as well as its free suite of business owner tools: Yelp for Business Owners.
The site?s local launch was led by Yelp?s Filipino-American executive, Miriam Warren, whose father hails from Macabebe, Pampanga. Warren, who started out as a Yelp community manager in Washington DC before being promoted as vice president for new markets, said the company would soon hire a community manager who would oversee the site?s local operations.
The Philippines is the third country in Southeast Asia and the 32nd globally to join the Yelp community. Yelp in the Philippines is available in both English and Filipino, the 18th language available on Yelp.
?Filipinos are so well-connected online and offline that we know they will love using Yelp to find and connect with great local businesses,? said Warren. ?We will be working hard to make sure Yelp is the most useful and relevant local resource for every Pinoy.?
Warren said the reviews made in the site are independent and contributed solely by members of the community. A unique algorithm allows the site to weed out irrelevant reviews and highlight those that matter to the readers, she said.
The executive said Yelp makes money through advertisements and online traffic generated by reviews of the businesses listed in the site. In the first quarter of 20015, the site registered 142 million unique visits and posted 77 million reviews.
Yelp said it will kick off its community building efforts in Manila to bring together Yelpers online and offline to experience the best of Manila. Yelp will also be available across the entire country, so everyone in the Philippines with access to the Internet on a desktop computer or a smartphone has the ability to share their opinions on what is great (and not-so great) about local businesses in the Philippines.