May 03, 2012 at 01:44 PM
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Review Sites Secure Partnerships To Ramp Up On-The-Go Reviews

Newly public,, is ramping up its distribution and marketing partnerships. Last December, Yelp announced details of its partnership with BMW, and yesterday the company gave insight into additional partnerships that will see the service integrated into Mercedes and Lexus in-vehicle infotainment systems.

"These relationships underscore the value that Yelp content provides to consumers on the go," the company said in a prepared statement. "OEMs are now working quickly to ensure that Yelp reviews are within reach from the dashboard."

Navigation systems of course are nothing new, but review sites like Yelp are just starting to take the technology one step further to make recommendations based on social context. Similarly, Toyota’s Entune integrates OpenTable, allowing users to filter restaurants and make reservations on the go.

While companies like Yelp and OpenTable have plenty of room to grow internationally, geographic growth has its limits and as public companies, the pressure will be on to expand the reach of reviews through new applications and partnerships like the auto OEM strategy currently being undertaken by several key players.

Something worth keeping in mind for travel brands as well as mobile properties (i.e. nationwide music tours) that may be interested in partnering up to showcase the new mobile search, review and booking capabilities of review sites like Yelp,, TripAdvisor, Zagat and others in a way that provides endemic value to your fans and customers.