Home Yelp, Twitter & Apple’s Anti-Google Coalition

Yelp, Twitter & Apple’s Anti-Google Coalition

Om Malik wrote a post today called What do Yelp and Twitter have in common? I thought that was a pretty interesting question, so I read the post. It turned out to be something about back-stabbing Silicon Valley dealsmanship. I don’t know anything about that stuff, but I was disappointed. I was thinking of something else.

You know what else Twitter and Yelp have in common? Apple. Both of those applications are married to Apple. They’re built into the operating system. Twitter is the social sign-on service baked into iOS, and Yelp is who Siri asks for restaurant recommendations. The other important thing about them is that they are not Google.

Twitter and Apple are quite cozy. Twitter is built into iOS 5, it’s coming to OS X Mountain Lion, and Apple promotes the official Twitter client in ways no other app gets. But Twitter promotes Apple, too. Have you looked at a tweet of an App Store link on the Web lately? It displays a rich, embedded iTunes view:

For Yelp’s part, it’s built into Siri. So much for Google. Google and Yelp have been at each other’s throats for years because Google wants the local business recommendation racket so badly. Naturally, Apple went with Yelp.

Yelp had a big IPO today. Interesting timing, right? It feels like IPO fever all over again. But Yelp’s day was surprisingly bright. I guess 66 million unique visitors and integration into the iPhone 4S will do that.

And look at this. Apple hit the 25 billion mark for app downloads tonight. Check out the graphic. Who’s that, front and center, at the App Store’s right hand? (Stage right.) It’s Yelp, with Twitter right next to it.

Twitter and Yelp have something in common with some other companies, too, like Wolfram Alpha and Vimeo. Between Yelp and Wolfram Alpha, Siri tries pretty hard not to search Google for things. And people testing the new OS X Mountain Lion beta have noticed that the new sharing options include Vimeo for videos and not YouTube. Curious, huh?

Apple uses Google itself for maps now, but it’s well known that Apple is working on its own maps. As soon as it can, it’s going to push Google right off the home screen.

If I were Yelp, I’d do my IPO right now, too. I’d be built into Apple, which is having its way with the entire stock market right now, and the iPad 3 is coming out next week. I imagine that, for mobile software companies that compete with Google, the Apple coalition feels like a pretty safe place to be.

P.S.: I wonder why Microsoft had such a weird freak-out when The Daily leaked Office for iPad the other week. I just wonder…

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