Over the last couple years, there’s been a huge surge in the suite of online services referred to collectively as ‘local’. There’s Facebook Places, which prompts users to check-in and claim deals. There’s Google Places, which recently launched its own check-in feature and also aggregates reviews from a variety of online service. And of course there’s Foursquare, which popularized the check-in model in the first place and recently launched a new Explore feature.
But despite all of this new competition, Yelp — which has been focused on local since 2004 — is still growing at a clip pace. Today the company has surpassed 50 million monthly unique users (as reported by their internal Google Analytics), up from 46 million the month before. And they have a total of 17 million reviews for venues around the world. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman says that the service is seeing a faster rate of growth for both contributions (reviews) and users than it has historically— in Q1, users wrote 2 million reviews, while most quarters average 1 million. In other words, even if some of these other services are gaining traction, it isn’t hurting Yelp.
To compliment its directory of user-submitted reviews (and to compete more directly with the aforementioned services), the company has launched its own local deals product and check-ins, though it’s still best known for its local reviews.
On a related note, here’s a video Yelp just shot about its most recent Hackathon. And if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to check out our tour of Yelp’s office on TC Cribs.