Geosocial Universe 3.0: Everyone’s A Critic

A few weeks ago, we presented our third version of the Geosocial Universe. But that’s not the whole story. This time around, instead of just one graphic, we created three additional snackables — think of them as moons in the orbit of the full graphic. You can see the first one here. Today we present the second: Everyone’s A Critic.

Opinions are like social media presences: everybody’s got one. With this graphic, we look at two sites that contain a combined 51 million user reviews.

OpenTable, which provides diners an online restaurant reservation service, features 15 million user-generated restaurant reviews. All of the reviews are verified, meaning a critique can only appear if the restaurant can confirm that the diner showed up for their reservation.

Yelp, which boasts a purpose of helping “connect people with great local businesses,” contains 36 million reviews. In January 2013 alone, the site had 100 million unique viewers and nearly 500,000 thousand new business reviews posted. Here’s the breakdown of the reviews based on January’s numbers:

  • 23% shopping
  • 21% restaurants
  • 11% home and local services
  • 9% beauty and fitness
  • 7% arts, entertainment and events
  • 6% health
  • 4% auto
  • 4% nightlife
  • 4% travel and hotel
  • 11% other


While listening to 51 million opinions might seem noisy, they collectively make an impact. Higher ratings raise customer flow and affect the bottom line: businesses whose overall Yelp ratings improve by one star can expect between a 5 and 9% boost in revenue.

In recent years, publications have touted the importance of maintaining professional criticism — after all, the authors’ and their colleagues’ jobs are on the line — but with the use of geosocial networks like Yelp and OpenTable, we all have the means to be critics. And why not? Everyone eats (and shops and gets haircuts and…).

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