Apple Maps partner Yelp will allow businesses to state COVID-19 vaccination policies

in iOS edited August 2021
Yelp, whose business review data is deeply integrated into Apple Maps, will soon introduce new profile affordances that will allow businesses to list COVID-19 vaccination policies and information.


The upcoming profile attributes include a listing that enables businesses to share employee vaccination status with potential visitors. A second field denotes whether customers are required to provide proof of vaccination or wear masks before entering, reports The Verge.

While not mandatory, the new attribute options are designed to help customers find businesses that carry vaccination policies with which they are comfortable. They also let businesses inform customers of current store restrictions, a handy tool in areas without proof of vaccination mandates.

As the COVID-19 vaccine remains a contentious subject, Yelp says it has moderation assets in place to prevent so-called "review bombs" of businesses that choose display their policies. According to the report, the company will proactively monitor the pages of businesses that divulge such information and remove reviews that do not speak to customer experience.

Yelp continues to play an integral role in the Apple Maps experience. Users can search for businesses, read reviews, look up store hours and more directly from the Maps app, while links to the Yelp app provide access to photos and other information.

While not guaranteed, it is possible that Apple could integrate Yelp's new COVID-19 vaccine attributes into Maps, where it would likely be listed under a "Useful to Know" informational subsection. Alternatively, employee vaccine status and proof of vaccination requirements might be listed separately in a standalone category.

Apple itself has built a number of useful coronavirus-related tools into Maps over the past few months. In March, the app was updated to display nearby vaccination locations and airport regulations, and coronavirus testing sites were added a month later.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 3
    CheeseFreezeCheeseFreeze Posts: 1,129member
    Another Apple Maps ‘feature’ that is useless outside of the US.
    No one uses Yelp here.
    edited August 2021
  • Reply 2 of 3
    Another Apple Maps ‘feature’ that is useless outside of the US.
    No one uses Yelp here.
    I think you missed the point here - Apple uses Yelp as a data source - so even if you believe no-one uses it, businesses in 31 countries can still update their Yelp profiles with this data and (in theory) have it flow into Apple Maps based on this new integration. 

    That said - Apple Maps has a terrible UI/APIs for updating maps data for businesses. I manage 750 locations, and our Apple Maps data always updates a week after our Google Maps data does...
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Another Apple Maps ‘feature’ that is useless outside of the US.
    No one uses Yelp here.

    I'm not sure what Apple's partnerships are like in the various geographies in which it operates but - purely from a business perspective - at some point you have to make tough decisions about what features you roll into your products.

    It could be the reason Apple hasn't rolled a similar feature to Maps integration with Yelp for other countries is simply because there isn't a service provider that is as dominant across a geo like, for example, the EU as Yelp is in the US. Not saying that's actually the case, since I'm not familiar with services similar to Yelp in other countries, but if it is the case it would explain why a similar feature that's more relevant to that geo isn't available I other countries. 

    As a former product manager (not at Apple), I can attest that trying to integrate multiple such services, as well as manage all the relationships, is probably viewed by Apple as  not enough of a value-add to undertake the effort. Seriously, it would be a massive pain-in-the-a$$ if the Maps product and the Apple Partnerships teams had to deal with a different Yelp-like service in each different country in which it sells.
    edited August 2021
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