Obviously, companies copy one another's ideas all the time. If something is working, sometimes it just makes a lot of sense. But sometimes it's just a little pathetic. Tonight, we're seeing a bit of that from Yelp.
The latest update to their iPhone app (4.2.1) includes a feature called Yelp Royalty. It rewards users with the most check-ins at a venue the title of “Duke” or “Duchess.” Those with the most titles in their neighborhood become the “Baron.” Those with the most it the city become the “King.” Sound familiar? Maybe you've heard of Foursquare.
Sure, Foursquare is a little different in that it allows you to become the “Mayor” of a venues, but come on. And the fact that mayor icons (inexplicably) include King crowns just add to this.
You may recall that back in January, Yelp added the ability to check-in to venues from their iPhone app. Again, yes, this was copying an idea laid out by a bunch of services before it (Foursquare being the most visible), but it seemed like fair game. Same with badges, which a lot of these companies offer (and we heard Yelp would soon as well). This is simply taking a good idea, and laying it over Yelp's substantial service. Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley didn't like the Yelp check-in leaderboard idea too much at the time, but noted that Yelp “copied the wrong stuff.”
Maybe this time, they copied the right stuff. Can't wait for Crowley's post reacting to this one. You know, this guy: