Cool App Alert: Yello Is What Happens When Yelp Meets Instagram

Julie Gerstein
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

You’re out and about exploring in a new part of town and looking for a great dinner spot. What if you could get recommendations from your friends without having to post an annoying status on Facebook or send out a zillion text messages ? If you’re a Yello user, you can.

One part Instagram, one part Yelp, Yello—a new mobile app—allows users to upload pics and reviews of their favorite shops, restaurants and bars in an Instagram-like interface, with the aim of helping share and connect people with the places they love. But it takes the Instagram model one step further, placing all spots on a map.

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Yello is the brainchild of entrepreneur Daniel Gendelman, who told us he came up with the idea after a particularly great vacation to Los Angeles. “I had one of the best weekends of my life—and I did nothing extraordinary. Rather, [friends] took me to places they knew I would love and connect with. In L.A. especially, if you don’t know where to do, finding just the right thing can be really difficult.” Gendelman knew that there was no way he would have had a similar experience had he not had friends on the ground showing him around.

“Review sites were impersonal. And it seemed like everyday I would notice people on Facebook or Twitter asking their entire communities where they suggest to go in a certain city, which was also not that efficient.”

yello Cool App Alert: Yello Is What Happens When Yelp Meets Instagram

So he created Yello. “Our goal is to have as many stories of people experiencing really awesome things out in the world that they may not have found or captured without Yello. Early on, it’s already working for many of our first users—those stories are by far the most exciting part of this to us.”

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And because your Yello experience is tailored around who you know, your search results will be equally customized and unique—and, ostensibly, more accurately reflect your interests and aesthetic. “On some review sites — if you are going to New York for example and type in Sushi—everyone sees the same places fed by opinions of people you’ve never met. That’s crazy to us,” says Gendelman. “On Yello, the more people you know using the service the more specific your results will be for ‘what’s there.’ Everyone’s Yello is completely unique.”

It’s this uniqueness that’s what Gendelman hopes will make Yello a success in the market. “We take great pride in our places, so building a platform around sharing those we loved, in order to discover new ones was just something I had to do. Everyone, no matter where they come from is an insider on somewhere.”