widget bHU bOyybmK5qVM uZ0iOG Updated: Yelp continues to make its iPhone offering a near perfect vertical location appYelp announced today that their next version of their iPhone app will have badges and “royalty” i.e. their version of mayorships. Here is what they say on their blog:

  • Now when a user checks-in to a combination of businesses, they will be able to earn “Yelp Badges.” Badges you earn will help show off where you’re checking in. For example, if a yelper loves to get their nigiri on at sushi restaurants, they can earn the “Sushi Sensei” badge. The Sensei badge is only one of many badges you can unlock — it’s up to our users to figure out how. Once earned, badges can be shared with friends both via the Yelp iPhone app, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
  • If users are checking into the same businesses in a given time period and/or neighborhood, they can also earn “Royal” status.  Got the most check-ins at a business?  You’re the Duke, good sir (or Duchess, for the ladies).  Most Dukedoms in a ‘hood? You’re the Baron! Most in the city? You’re the King!

This really makes Yelp!’s iPhone app a near perfect vertical location app now, following the news yesterday of their integration with OpenTable. Here’s the post from yesterday:

According to the New York Times, Yelp has finally integrated OpenTable’s reservation system into Yelp.com.

Basically, a Yelp user (visitors need a Yelp account but not necessarily an OpenTable one) can now book tables directly from the restaurant review page on Yelp.com. Of course, this can only help OpenTable, as Yelp is one of of the largest restaurant listings sites on the web. For Yelp, this answers a long-sought-after feature of its users and makes the service a much more complete one.

bits yelp blogSpan Updated: Yelp continues to make its iPhone offering a near perfect vertical location app

So why are we writing this up on TNW Location, you might be thinking? Well, first of all, both Yelp and OpenTable have mobile apps and Yelp has a check-in feature in theirs. So – and we’re pretty sure this isn’t integrated yet, but it makes sense that it will be in the near future – you’ll be able to do this from the Yelp app:

  1. Search for a resturant (you can already do this).
  2. Make a reservation using the OpenTable integration (coming)
  3. Find friends nearby to go to dinner with (probably not coming, but we highly recommend this feature)
  4. Check-in at the resturant when you get there (already in there)
  5. Review the resturant when you leave (already in there)
  6. Gain OpenTable rewards points right from the app (coming)

This, in our opinion could make the Yelp iPhone app a very complete vertical check-in app. If they leverage this correctly, they could (with OpenTable on their coattails) dominate this vertical with such an app.

Image NYT