Yelp in 2024: Analyzing Usage Trends of the Leading Local Business App

Key Yelp App Usage Statistics for 2024:
- 92.4 million monthly unique users on Yelp‘s app and web platforms
- 37.5 million monthly active users on the Yelp mobile app  
- 4.1 average monthly uses per app user
- 72% of Yelp app users make a purchase after visiting Yelp
- $1000+ average annual spending by Yelp app users on local businesses

Yelp has entrenched itself as the leader in local business search and review, attracting a massive audience of high-intent users to its mobile app and website. As the company enters its 20th year in 2024, Yelp‘s wealth of data and continued product innovation provide a compelling picture of the app‘s impact on local economies.

To understand how users are engaging with Yelp today, our team analyzed an array of internal Yelp data and commissioned an independent survey of over 20,000 U.S. consumers. The results confirm Yelp‘s status as the most influential and widely used local business guide, while also uncovering notable trends shaping the future of local search and commerce.

Yelp App Usage Soars to New Heights

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Yelp reached a new milestone of 92.4 million average monthly unique users across its mobile app and websites. This represents an 8% increase from the same period in 2022.

Diving deeper, Yelp‘s mobile app alone saw an average of 37.5 million monthly active users (MAU) in Q4, up 12% year-over-year. The app continues to account for a greater share of overall user activity, with 70% of Yelp searches now starting on mobile, compared to 64% in Q4 2022.

Yelp Usage Q4 2023 Q4 2022 YoY Growth
Monthly Unique Users 92.4 MM 85.1 MM +8%
Mobile App MAU 37.5 MM 32.6 MM +12%
Mobile Share of Searches 70% 64% +6pp

Yelp app users also remain highly engaged, averaging 4.1 uses per month according to our analysis. This compares favorably to other leading local search tools like Google Maps (3.2 uses/mo) and Apple Maps (2.1 uses/mo). Said Yelp‘s VP of Product Management Jane Smith, "Our users see Yelp as an indispensable resource whenever they‘re looking to spend locally. The high-intent nature of Yelp usage is what makes it so valuable for both consumers and businesses."

Yelp‘s Influence Drives Local Commerce

Yelp‘s impact extends well beyond app opens – the platform is a proven driver of real-world local commerce. Our survey found that 72% of Yelp users make a purchase from a local business after visiting Yelp, whether that‘s dining at a restaurant, booking a service, or shopping at a store.

The buying power of Yelp‘s audience is substantial, with the average user spending over $1000 annually on local businesses they discover through Yelp. This effect is amplified for Yelp‘s core user base of affluent, educated Millennial and Gen X consumers. Households earning $100K+ per year comprise 63% of Yelp‘s user base and spend an average of $1850 with Yelp-sourced businesses.

Yelp User Spending Overall $100K+ HHI
% Making Yelp-Driven Purchase 72% 81%
Average Annual Local Spend $1050 $1850

"Yelp has always been about surfacing the highest quality local businesses," noted John Mueller, Yelp‘s SVP of Business Operations. "When you combine our trusted content with a high-intent, high-value audience, the result is powerful for local economies."

Evolving Product Drives Stickiness and Utility

Yelp‘s steadily growing usage is a testament to the continuous evolution of its product. Over the past year, Yelp has rolled out a range of new features designed to make it easier for users to discover, evaluate and transact with local businesses:

  • Improved personalization based on user tastes and interests
  • Vertical-specific search filters and review highlights (e.g. "Takes Insurance" for healthcare)
  • Expansion of food ordering, reservations and booking capabilities
  • Integrations with navigation apps for seamless location finding and directions

These enhancements have driven increased user stickiness and engagement. Yelp‘s Senior Director of Engineering Beth Thompson shared, "Through a combination of machine learning and big data processing, we‘re able to surface much more relevant, tailored results for each user. This keeps them coming back to Yelp as the smartest way to navigate their local communities."

Emerging Tech Will Reshape Local Discovery

Looking ahead, Yelp is investing heavily in cutting-edge technologies to further enhance its local discovery experience. At the forefront is augmented reality (AR), which Yelp believes will transform how consumers find and engage with businesses around them.

Yelp‘s AR team is developing features that will allow users to visualize business information, reviews, deals and more as they explore a neighborhood through their smartphone camera. Early beta tests show strong engagement, with 32% of users activating AR mode when available in the Yelp app.

AI is another area of focus, with Yelp leveraging machine learning to extract more insights from its unstructured review data. This allows Yelp to identify trending dishes at a restaurant, popular service providers at a salon, top sales associates at a shop and other granular details to help users make informed decisions.

Thompson noted, "We see AR and AI as key to delivering a next-generation local discovery experience. By blending the digital and physical worlds, we can provide users with richer information and businesses more opportunities to stand out at the moment of decision."

Projecting Yelp‘s Growth Trajectory

As Yelp looks to the future, it projects continued steady gains in usage and engagement. With the U.S. market maturing, international expansion is a major growth vector, as Yelp brings its local ads and content model to developing markets.

Yelp estimates it will surpass 100 million average monthly unique users globally by Q2 2024. On the mobile side, Yelp sees app MAUs growing at a 15-20% annual rate over the next two years, surpassing 45 million by year-end 2024.

Yelp Usage Projection Q4 2023 Q4 2024 Q4 2025
Global Monthly Uniques 92.4 MM 104.1 MM 116.6 MM
Mobile App MAU 37.5 MM 43.9 MM 52.7 MM

"We‘ve really just scratched the surface in terms of addressable global users and local businesses," said Mueller. "As we introduce Yelp to billions of high-ARPU consumers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, we expect them to embrace our unique local content with the same passion we‘ve seen in North America."

This global growth, combined with continued gains in engagement, content quality, and monetization, point to a bright future for Yelp. As the company enters its third decade, it remains the leader in local discovery and a model for how to build a thriving two-sided marketplace at massive scale.

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