Yelp has lost its exclusivity on providing reviews for hotel properties on Apple Maps.
Entering the fray now will also be reviews from Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
No official announcement has been made by Apple, but the switch appears have been made in recent days across iOS6-handled devices and was initially picked up by the MacRumors consumer site. It is unclear at the moment exactly how the roll-out process is being put in place, how properties are divvied up between review providers (and, indeed, the business model).
Both Booking.com and TripAdvisor have declined to comment on any aspect of the initiative. Many hotel properties in Europe now have a new page featuring three reviews from Booking.com and a selection of images of the property.
Users can then click through to the hotel’s page on the Booking.com mobile site.
Similar results are found for some properties in the US for TripAdvisor.
Yelp appears to be retaining (for now) many of the hotels in larger cities in the US.
Some might wonder why such a move to is significant. It could be considered a bit of a blow to Yelp to lose the exclusivity it has enjoyed with Apple up until now.
Furthermore, having two of the giant’s of the hotel sector wading in to provide reviews could be seen as further evidence of the growing importance of having a presence on a user’s mobile device.
Getting a presence on what is probably one of the most widely used maps in the mobile world (it is unclear how many mobile users prefer a app, rather than the native map installed on the device) is not just about branding, but possibly the next land grab for consumer eyeballs on devices.