Redefining Local Search
how a small startup is finding a way to take on Google
Every day we go places. We do things. We hop on our phone and search for restaurants, gyms, a nearby Starbucks. But how do we actually access this information? Some people search Google. Others browse Yelp. With Yeti, we’ve reimagined the local search process to be fast, beautiful, fun, and powerful.
Announcing Our Biggest Update Yet!
We’re happy to announce a big update today. Below is a summary of what you’ll find on Yeti. You can read about it on TechCrunch and TheNextWeb or check out the update at http://itunes.apple.com/app/id882096384.
1. Tap-search: typing to search on mobile is high friction and we don’t think it’s necessary. Rather than typing “coffee shops in downtown Manhattan”, a user simply taps the “cafes” category and Yeti filters to show the most relevant nearby coffeeshops. No longer are the days of searching with predictive text fails, just tap to explore what’s nearby.
2. Buckets: tabs and folders make it easy to keep track of your favorite searches in a web browser, but on mobile this is poorly executed. On Yeti, when you swipe right, it gets stored into buckets automatically, making it easy to keep track of your favorite places. This list auto-sorts based on your location, so it’s great for getting back to that awesome restaurant you discovered in New York.
3. Check-ins: When you check in to a new spot, it gets saved to one of your buckets. One of the powerful features is the ability to check-in after you’ve left the location. So if you took a trip to Africa and are browsing the photos when home, easily add your favorite spots to your bucket list. When you do check-in, the location will be from the where you took the picture. Awesome.
4. Social: if you search “restaurants in Beverly Hills” and see a decent spot on Google, good luck discussing it with other locals and getting feedback. With Yeti, each place is a group chat with others who swiped right. Like-minded locals and travelers can help with what to order, what to avoid, and other questions you may have.
Yeti was derived from an idea we started back in 2011 called At The Pool, which helped connect people offline around common interests like hiking, surfing, and coffee shops. We learned a lot about our user base, which quickly expanded into 120+ countries. More than wanting to meet new people, it became clear our members wanted to share and discover relevant things nearby (bike shops, hikes, museums, etc). That’s where the pivot to Yeti came along.
When we launched Yeti, it quickly took off, reaching more than 3,000,000 swipes in less than 6 months. We dove into the data to better understand the growth and the value. It was clear people were using Yeti for local search. We started asking ourselves how people did this before (finding nearby restaurants, hikes, museums, etc.). People primarily used Google, opening their browsers to type a query, scrolling through monotonous text-based results and tapping through to websites with unpredictable data. With Yeti, the results were immediate because of the recommendation platform, personalized because of the machine-learning engine, and contextual because of the phone’s info (location, weather, time, etc).
Yeti is a place to discover new things, and find inspiration in the city that you reside (or travel to). Whether you stumble on the Irish pub on the corner that has the best beef stew in town, or the surf spot in San Diego where you have to climb down a rock face and swim around a cliff to arrive, Yeti will help you get there. Why should you need to type to find something nearby, when Yeti can find it for you based off your previous interactions, location, time, and weather? Yeti is redefining local search, a concept that hasn’t changed in over a decade.
Check out the update at https://itunes.apple.com/app/id882096384