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  1. You Can Now Search For Businesses in Yelp With Emoji

    This makes me feel sad face.

    So let's say that you need some coffee, but you don't know where to look for it, and you've also completely forgotten what it's called. I don't know, maybe you can't read or you've been in a traffic accident or something. Well don't worry, my confused friend! Now you don't have to know what it's called, just what it looks like.

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  2. I Kinda Don’t Want to Know? Yelp to Provide Health Department Scores for Your Favorite Restaurants

    Do you want to know how clean your favorite restaurant is? Honestly, you probably don't -- sometimes you just want to enjoy a good box of Chinese takeout and not think too hard about the process behind your egg foo yung. If you're one of those folks who absolutely must know, though, there's good news on the horizon as Yelp is teaming up with local governments to add health inspection details to its restaurant listings. The service rolls out today in San Francisco with New York following suit in a few weeks, but any municipality will soon be able to offer up its health inspection data and keep you abreast of everything that ever happened in the kitchen of your favorite pizza joint, which you will soon never be able to even look at again. Thanks, Yelp.

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  3. Foursquare is Changing Its Privacy Policy, Probably Because That Worked so Well for Instagram

    Foursquare is continuing to grow despite the very subjective metric that I haven't seen one of those "Check in Here" stickers at a business in a while. I sort of forgot about Foursquare. Still, they've had a great year that saw millions of new users and their three-mbillionth check-in. They've branched out their services to be a stronger competitor to Yelp, whose stickers I have seen a lot of around New York. Now Foursquare is telling its users that it's going to be updating its terms of service, making more user information public. I don't see this going well for you, Foursquare.

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  4. Judge Orders Yelp Reviewer Being Sued for $750,000 to Reword Negative Comments

    When will businesses learn that taking folks to court over negative commentary only ends badly for everyone involved? Apparently not anytime soon. Contractor Dietz Development is currently suing one Jane Perez over the comments she left about the company on Yelp. Some of Perez's jewelry apparently went missing, and her review essentially accused the contractor of stealing it, as they had a key. Pretty standard accusations that someone might make when things go missing while others have access to their home. Unfortunately, the judge didn't agree, and Perez was ordered to tone down the review on Wednesday.

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  5. Apple May be Including Yelp Check-Ins in New Map App, Perhaps Snuggling Closer?

    When Apple first unveiled the iPhone in 2007, one of its most immediately useful features was Google Maps integration. However, the partnership was short-lived as Apple has since moved to push Google out of bed, going so far as to roll its own map app debuting in iOS 6. Now, Apple may go a step further by baking Yelp check-ins right into the map app.

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  6. Yelp Now Considers “Hipster” a Restaurant Ambience

    Crowdsourced restaurant review site Yelp has just given users yet another data point on which to base their dining decisions: In addition to options like 'romantic,' 'dressy,' 'casual,' and 'touristy,' the "ambience" portion of a bar or eatery's description can now simply say 'hipster.' Yes, hipster is an ambience now, apparently. You can see examples of it here and here.

    San Fran-based blog Mission Mission guesses that most restaurants, even those that cater to what one might describe as a 'hipster' clientele, would probably "pay through the nose to have the 'Hipster' tag removed." What self-respecting hipster wants to drink somewhere where people who identify as hipsters drink, much less a place that itself identifies as 'hipster'?

    In response to a popular question on the Yelp forums, there does not appear to be a way to filter 'hipster' out from search results.

    (via Laughing Squid, Mission Mission)

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  7. foursquare Rolls Out Version 3.0, Introduces Recommendation Engine

    Just days before South by Southwest, the foursquare team have rolled out a sweeping upgrade to the service which will have impact beyond the hallowed grounds of Austin -- and which may help it scoop up new users from far and wide. Last night, foursquare 3.0 went live for iPhone and Android users, bringing with it an overhauled leaderboard, a suite of new rewards merchants can give their foursquare loyal, and, most significantly, a brand-new recommendation engine which will allow users to find cool restaurants, clubs, etc. nearby that are deemed relevant to their interests, based on their foursquare history and the history of their friends as processed by a proprietary algorithm.

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  8. Yelp Hit with Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged Extortion

    Crowdsourced review site Yelp lets users give one- to five-star ratings to restaurants and other services. Since its launch in 2004, it been dogged by accusations of extortion. Some businesses dissatisfied with Yelp have charged the company with all but offering to take down negative reviews in exchange for advertising sales -- and even taking down positive reviews to exact revenge on local businesses that refuse to buy ads.

    Tough accusations, clearly, but up to this point, they've been just that: accusations. Now, though, one California animal hospital has taken it to the next level: they've filed a class action lawsuit against Yelp, alleging that the company tried to shake them down for $300 a month in exchange for the removal of a negative review.

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