Play Pokémon Go through lunch with Yelp’s new filter

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    Like friends who enable their friend’s addictions, Yelp introduced a new filter that lets you see which businesses are near a PokéStop from the game Pokémon Go. So now you don’t have to waste time dining at places that don’t come with a side of Charmander.

    Just in case you’re wondering what Pokémon Go is because you happen to be one of the lucky few who hasn’t been bombarded with news of the game from friends and through social media, think of it as a treasure hunt on your smartphone where X marks the spot in locations like parking lots and public landmarks. The game utilizes the GPS on your phone to guide you around town as you collect as many pocket monsters as you can.

    The real-world smartphone game caught on like wildfire this summer and Yelp is just one of a slew of companies thinking up ways to get in on some of the action. The new filter helps the company stay relevant and on top of the way its users are interacting with their local neighborhoods.

    Yelp’s filter is available on the iOS and Android apps and it’s pretty straightforward to use. Just swipe the filter options located below the search and select “PokéStops Nearby”. The information is crowdsourced and Yelp is relying on users to add new locations as they find them.

    “In order to leave no PokéStop unturned, we need your help,” Yelp product manager Will Cole wrote in a blog post. “To identify a business that’s in the vicinity of a PokéStop, check-in to that location on Yelp and answer a quick question to let fellow Yelpers and trainers know that this is the place they want to be. In just the past 24 hours, Yelpers have already identified thousands of PokéStops. With your help, we’ll become Pokémon masters in no time.”

    In the short time since the game’s launch, Pokemon Go has already become hugely successful in the U.S., Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. The game shot to first place on the U.S. iOS App Store for ‘Top Grossing’ within the first 24 hours of its launch and users are spending more time in the app than they spend on Facebook, according to data industry-tracking intelligence firm Sensor Tower.  

    With stats like that, it’s no wonder businesses are scrambling to create some sort of partnership or tie-in. T-Mobile announced free data for the game. And the game’s developer, Niantic revealed plans to enable businesses to pay for sponsored locations in the game. Local businesses are starting to offer promotions and discounts for players and a few have even resorted to buying in-game lures that make Pokémon appear more often near their stores. So while you’re out on the town trying to catch your next Pokémon, businesses are working hard thinking up new ways to capture your business.

    Kelly Paik
    Kelly Paik writes about science and technology for Fanvive. When she's not catching up on the latest innovations, she uses her free-time painting and roaming to places with languages she can't speak. Because she rather enjoys fumbling through cities and picking things on the menu through a process of eeny meeny miny moe.