Party and play dating site
SOURCE: Consumer Reports "It's clear that online dating websites play a major role in the lives of many consumers — we invest a tremendous amount of time, money and emotional energy.
It really is a consumer issue worthy of our attention." said Margot Gilman, money editor for Consumer Reports.
Though Jenn and Scott had gotten acquainted online, they didn't meet in person until Jenn posted under Yelp's events section that she wanted to meet for brunch. They hit it off after their first meeting, but didn't start dating right away. It took over a year of Yelp events and coquettish review writing for Scott to grow convinced.
"I would try to be as attractive and witty and funny in my review writing for him," Jenn said.
Users can also deepen and solidify connections with friend requests.
In other words, Yelp has many of the same components we're used to seeing in an online dating incubator, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to lead to romance. Yelpers are using the site's social elements to find and date their fellow reviewers.
"I was always hoping that whatever he read of mine he would think I'm funny and clever and would think I'm a neat person for having written it."Unlike traditional dating sites, Yelp eases users into dating.
Instead of coordinating awkward semi-blind one-on-one dates, the Yelp events allow users to get to know one another in a group setting, where there are sure to be lots of others.
As a community site, Yelp allows those logged in to check out any profile and then facilitates communication (some might call it flirting) via a message board-esque "talk section," private messages, and compliments.
Yelp asks members to create a profile by uploading a photo and answering some pseudo-personal questions -- favorite movie, website, general interests, etc.
Other users can peruse these profiles and judge their fellow Yelpers not only on calculated profile responses, but also by reading the reviews they leave.
"You can tell a lot about someone from the way they write," Jenn said.
"They have to be a pretty creative, intelligent person to write well.