Rather than business listings being ranked by rating or popularity, the app’s homepages and search result listings will be tailored based on personal preferences
In a blog post published Tuesday, Yelp describes the update as a broader initiative to turn Yelp into a “personal concierge for all things local” rather than simply a business directory and review platform.
In other words, Yelp doesn’t just want to show you popular listings, but help you discover new places that fit your lifestyle or interests.
How does it work?
You would think that a feature like this would be algorithm-based — however, personalization preferences are actually manually entered in a quick questionnaire Yelp says takes “less than two minutes.”
This model actually makes sense for Yelp, as it allows users to indicate exactly who they are or what they’re looking for in a restaurant or local business — something most algorithms can only guess at.
Users can indicate interests across five categories:
Dietary Restrictions (vegan, vegetarian, keto, gluten-free, or other specialized diet)
Food/Drink Preferences (specific favored cuisines, places with special offerings like happy hours or brunch)
Interests (things like hiking, kid-friendly activities, live music, “date night” spots)