Yelp is showing off a new tool called Yelp Trends, which gives you access to its ten years' worth of data to get a look at trends on a city by city basis.
Yelp was founded in October of 2004, so it's releasing this tool as it prepares to celebrate its tenth birthday. Product manager Travis Brooks writes on the Yelp blog:
From food trends to popular slang to short-lived beauty fads (Brazilian blowout anyone?), Yelp Trends searches through words used in Yelp reviews to show you what’s hot and reveals the trend-setting cities that kicked it all off. Our massive wealth of data and the high quality reviews contributed by the Yelp community are what allow us to surface consumer trends and behavior based on ten years of experiences shared by locals around the world. For example, are San Franciscans still sipping PBR or craving craft beer? Is the CrossFit fad still going strong or losing steam? Are Londoners loving bob hairstyles or feeling more fringe (that’s bangs, for you Americans) these days? And every city has its favorite food trucks now, but where did this meals-on-wheels phenomenon first take off?
Compare searches by city to end the “who did it first” debate once and for all. Canada gets credit for creating the poutine craze, but which cities did it spread to first? It may not come as a shock that these gravy-soaked French fries peaked with New Yorkers in 2010, but Angelenos have just begun embracing the trendy menu item in the past couple years.
The tool enables users to search through 98 cities in 20 countries. It would be a lot cooler if it included every city listed in Yelp, but unfortunately that's not the case. It would also be nice if the graphs were embeddable, but that's not an option, though it does provide buttons to share on Facebook and Tweet.
Yelp recommends students tap into the data for various projects, and is even enabling them to win $5,000 for creating unique and compelling ones using the data. More on the Yelp Dataset Challenge here.
Yelp recently expanded availability of its data to developers by making its API widely available.
Image via Yelp