Yelp announced a new update to its mobile app on Tuesday, giving users a “personalization functionality” according to their dietary restrictions and other lifestyle preferences. Thanks to millions of data points, Yelp is now able to suggest businesses and activities based on each user’s profile filters.
The customized algorithm will generate a home page based on several categories, including diet, dining taste, accessibility and other interests, such as hobbies and weekend activities.
For the dietary function, Yelp says that users can now forgo browsing menus to check for restaurants’ allergy accommodation. Instead, the tool can confirm if a restaurant has options for them, including those “who are gluten-free, halal, keto, kosher, pescatarian, vegan or vegetarian.” When combined with suggestions based on the other aforementioned categories, customers should see an individualized feed.
For example, “a gluten-free pet owner who likes hiking and brunch will see very different results than a vegetarian parent who loves donuts, farmer’s markets and breweries,” according to the company. The “lifestyle preferences” are aimed to generate better options for customers, such as car owners, homeowners, parents and pet owners. Meanwhile, the “accessibility” tab filters through businesses with wheelchair accessibility or gender neutral restrooms.
The wellness-focused features are part of an overall push to address users’ changing habits, Yelp’s head of consumer product, Akhil Ramesh, told Observer.
“We know the consumer demand for this is growing. We believe that consumers will continue to care more and more about what they eat and how they spend their time, while looking for meaningful connections in their community,” Ramesh explained. The health and lifestyle-conscious features were implemented by the company based on “user trends on Yelp and the numerous user interviews” conducted before the design update.
“We’ve built an experience where people can make Yelp their own and closely align Yelp with their own lives, while giving users the control,” Ramesh continued. “We’re in a unique position to serve this need because of the rich content from our community of users and business owners.”
It’s unsurprising that today’s diners are requesting customized curation of their dining and nightlife apps. As current health-geared trends show, the tech industry is committed to continue growing the multi-billion dollar wellness category to fulfill consumer demand over the next decade.
The Yelp app’s new personalization functionality will be rolling out “to all users on iOS over the next month,” according to the company. Android users will have access to the update’s search rankings and highlights, with more features arriving in the next year.