Yelp launches Events, a worthy Upcoming.org competitor
Yelp does events now. It might have taken them a while, but it's a great service from the get go.
There's no doubt Yelp was going to add a local events and calendaring functionality to their popular user reviews service, and today they've done it with a new feature called Events. Coincidentally, last week brought about a refresh of Yahoo's Local service, which finally integrated Yahoo's own events service Upcoming.org.
Not surprisingly, Yelp Events is quite similar to Upcoming.org, with a landing page for each event, a comment board, and a list of yeses and maybes from community members to say whether they'll be attending. The main difference being the way user profiles matter. For Upcoming it's all about the events you've gone to or are going to, whereas Yelp's profiles center around your reviews and list of favorite places. That being said, Yelp has also integrated your track record of events into your user profiles, although the focus remains on reviews.
Another key difference is integration. Despite the refresh on Yahoo's part, Upcoming and Yahoo Local are still separate services. For instance, say you want to catch the Beastie Boys show at the Greek Theater tomorrow night in Berkeley. Upcoming can tell you about the venue, but first it'll have to spit you out to Yahoo Local. Yelp on the other hand, has their review ratings integrated so you can quickly tell if the venue is hot or not (sometimes literally) without making you feel like you're being jettisoned to a different Web service.
The one thing Upcoming still has is coverage. Yelp has only rolled out the events features to 10 major cities in the US including San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, San Jose, Austin, Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Diego. Don't be surprised if this makes its way to the rest of the Yelpified cities before the year's end.