Use Emoji To Search Yelp, And Probably Save... No Time At All

In yet another example of a tech solution that looks for a problem, there's a new way to search on Yelp's mobile app, without having to type a word: You can search Yelp using emoji. Because switching your keyboard over to emoji and scrolling until you find a picture of a coffee cup is so much easier than typing "coffee." Hmmm...

We have to admit, though, the feature does have some serious novelty value. It's pretty fun to see what the app comes up with when you put in different emoji. Putting in the pizza symbol or the bowl of noodles, for example, produces exactly the kinds of results you would expect — but some emoji are a little more ambiguous.

For example, searching for a bikini turns up results on swimwear stores, bikini waxes and local bikini-themed bars. Inputting a lipstick emoji will point out cosmetic stores in the area. This is pretty cool, since you could end up finding something you hadn't even thought of, which turns out to be super helpful. Imagine if you put an alien emoji in there!

Some emoji searches, however, are not super helpful. For example, there appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the results for emotion-bearing emoji, like the smiley face or the crying face.

Search the smiley face for Brooklyn, NY, and you get Blushing Bride by Virginia, Tanveer Badal Photography, and Tacos Los Poblanos. The emoji with the hearts in the eyes brings up Manhattan Special Bottling Corporation, PetSmart and Red Jacket Orchard, which is apparently a juice bar.

The emoji with the surgical mask brings up Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor and then, rather hilariously, Subway and Zen Vegetarian House (which apparently has four stars, so that's even weirder.) The inclusion of emoji into Yelp comes days after Twitter decided to allow emojis in Tweets, so we're guessing that emoticons will be a language next.

Anyway, even though the results aren't always useful, it's a pretty amusing way to spend half an hour. Give it a go.

Image: Fotolia