The Weeli App – Building a Social Alternative to Yelp
Since its inception in 2004, Yelp has gone on to become one of the internet’s largest public review sites.
With users able to recommend anything from hotels to restaurants and plumbing services to chiropractors, the site is the go-to for people looking for social proof of a company’s credentials.
However, as Yelp has grown, its own credibility and indeed its usefulness has taken a hit; particularly in the social proof aspect of its reviews.
Problems with Yelp
Yelp’s problems are an unfortunate result of its fundamental business model and its growth.
In the beginning, when each company had a handful of honest reviews left by early adopters who saw it as a way of helping the community, everything seemed to be going well. There appeared to be clarity. However, with the increased traffic came increased noise. Users also found it more difficult to get where they wanted to be; where the useful and honest reviews are.
Fake reviews on Yelp are not unheard of. However, even those with good intentions may not be providing as useful a contribution as they think. Does their three-star review mean not bad or below average? Is a bad review based on something you yourself would not place any stock in, such as the lighting of a restaurant or its wine selection?
And with so many reviews now having been left for each business, how can you know Yelp is showing a fair cross-section of them?
Whether they are planning a night out or are looking for a reliable tradesman, it’s imperative that Yelp users can trust the reviews. The site’s problem is that, as the number of people contributing has grown, this has become more difficult for the user.
This is where Weeli comes in.
Halfslide Design was recently tasked with building an app that would allow its users to get recommendations for entertainment and services in their area without suffering from the same issues Yelp has run into.
By taking the concept of social proof back to social circles and social media, Weeli allows the user to get reviews from people they already know and trust.
It’s a simple process: the user chooses a category before selecting which of their phone contacts they would like to ask for recommendations. After selecting a location and topic, the request is sent.
The reply can then be accepted or deleted depending on the quality and relevance to the query.
By asking friends and contacts for recommendations instead of relying on the words of strangers on the internet, Weeli promises to bring a more reliable set of answers. And with the business model eliminating the possibility of the service running into the same problems that Yelp has, it could remain a useful app for years to come.
Building a social alternative to Yelp
Under the hood, Weeli is powered by a hybrid of HTML5/J5 and was built using the Ionic mobile app framework.
A free and open source front-end software development kit, Ionic is helping developers like Halfslide Design to produce better looking and better performing apps with a quicker turnaround than ever before.
As the world and its internet continues to become ever more mobile, apps have become a real alternative to the more traditional (ahem) mobile internet browsing. Of course, there is a Yelp app, but it suffers from the same inherent problems as its parent website.
Agile new ventures such as Weeli see opportunities to improve on the sometimes unevolved nature of existing services. Even ones as established as Yelp. And when they do, they often require a mobile app.
If your venture is looking to have an app built on the revolutionary Ionic framework too, Halfslide Design brings the experience and expertise needed to make it happen.
To see how we can help you in the same way we helped Weeli, please contact us today.0