Yelp vs. Facebook: The Review Game

Facebook recently released a new Feature called “Nearby” and as a result, the Yelp stock fell rather quickly. While Wall Street may not affect your business, if you can take advantage of these changes in social media to affect your business, you too can win.

How do these changes affect reviews and who to trust? In New York City, we compared a few venues rated on Facebook vs. Yelp – A sort of snapshot “Who to Trust and Who Not To” – based on few businesses we have visited. Here’s a few businesses we think may be indicative of rating value.

Bounce Sporting Club

Courtesy Bounce Sporting Club Facebook

Bounce Sporting Club:

Facebook – 53 Reviews , 3.5 stars and 8 Recommendations

Yelp – 65 Reviews, 2 stars

We – have been there for lunch many times, and would give it 3.5 stars, as it’s a great place.

Looking at Yelp  reviews we see:

  • 1 star  – “You want to see other young 20-somethings messily make out with each other and be super sloppy on a Sunday night.”
  • 3 stars  –  “Why I wasn’t a fan: The bar-tenders are tall leggy big boobed women. Club scene. I get it. But having to wait 15 minutes while every idiot that thinks he has a chance flirts with her is pretty annoying.  The crowd isn’t going to be high society.”
  • 1 Star –“It’s a sports bar for people who don’t really care about or even like sports but love pounding music, waitresses with gigantic boobs (the one positive), and being surrounded by roided up frat boys. Sure, they’ve got loads of TVs so you CAN watch the game there – but I can’t imagine why anyone would want to. Suffice it to say, I’m not the target audience for this place, and if I live to be a million years old I’ll never go back.”
  • 1 Star – “I was ecstatic about a well-equipped sports bar opening in my neighborhood. The first time I walked into Bounce though, I realized that the Jersey Shore had been transplanted here. If you’re disappointed about the show being cancelled, you can always stop by here and experience it live. If you want to actually watch sports, head elsewhere”

Facebook clearly wins in any sort of credibility matrix. Bounce is a themed sports bar that targets a certain demographic. Of course it is not going to be right for everyone, but skewed reviews would seem the norm on this spot.


Courtesy Eataly Facebook


Facebook – 1449 reviews , 4.o stars
Yelp – 1615 Reviews , 3.5 stars
We – This is a world class joint

By now, Eately is world renowned and its at least a 4 star joint  – clearly Facebook is a winner again.

Nasha Rasha Restaurant

Courtesy Nasha Rasha Restaurant Facebook

Nasha Russia

Facebook – 32 Reviews and 3 stars
Yelp – 53 Reviews and 4 stars
We – 3 stars maximum, Yelp elite seem to vote in high proportion

Facebook is a winner again and has much more relevant results.

Overall, Facebook will be more trusted and more accurate than Yelp, at least in my view.  This more personable aspect of Facebook, is yet another way we see the communications landscape changing, morphing into what can become a more trust-oriented marketing tool too. While Yelp has its uses, this “mini-test” of ours shows at worst some flaws in rating systems, and at best the dynamic of personal preference. Maybe the reader can perform his or her own test?

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