|Industry||Business ratings and reviews|
|Fate||Bought by Yelp, Inc.|
|Key people||Ian Brotherston CEO, Stephan Uhrenbacher, Founder and Board Member Founder|
Qype // was a Hamburg-based web 2.0 company centred on social networking and local reviews. They operated websites in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Italy and Brazil, and had approximately 22 million monthly unique European visitors.
Qype was founded in March 2006 operating solely in the German market, which has now expanded to include most European cities. In March 2007 Qype was awarded the Red Herring 100 Europe award.
In July 2007 Qype UK was launched, adding English to the interface and content. In January 2008 the website was translated into French, in anticipation of the launch of Qype France. Subsequent versions localised for the Spanish market (October 2008), Ireland and Austria (Summer 2008) in local language have followed. In 2008 Brazil was added, and Qype's first iPhone application.
In summer 2011, Qype launched sites in the Netherlands and Portugal as well as an application on Windows Mobile.
On 13 July 2011, Qype was featured in the BBC television show, The Apprentice, when one of the contestants was unable to pronounce the company name although still used it as the inspiration for his successful project.
Qype hosted an online database of user-generated reviews of local businesses in Europe. Users could add new places to the database, upload photos, review places in 7 languages and engage in community activities. Qype listed reviews on a wide range of categories, listing all places in a user-based rank-order. Selected reviews were also presented in the weekly Qype newsletter, and on city and country pages.
There was a de facto reputation system, where users could see which members are the most popular, respected, and prolific contributors. Users could also check out who shares their interests or indeed their opinions of specific places. Qype fostered the community with events for members at local bars and restaurants, as well as B2C events for Qype members.
Qype's features included:
- Private messaging
- Tagging other members' reviews as "helpful" or "well written"
- User-created city guides
- User-created groups/forums
- Lists of "friends"
- Google Maps display of other venues in the vicinity
- Badge system
- A comprehensive European events database
- Sharing reviews on Twitter and Facebook
Qype offered a directory for anyone to search for businesses or read ongoing discussions on existing entries. Certain features, such as the ability to contribute a review, or add a comment to a discussion, were available only to users with verified accounts, which are free. Those members whose contributions have been recognized with a certain number of feedback points are promoted to "insider" status and receive a visual marker in their profile, as well as additional invitations to real-world events. Business owners may participate in the site as well by contributing company profiles.
User profiles included a standard set of attributes such as photographs and several fields relating to the user's location, hobbies, preferences etc. Qype allowed wide latitude for personal expression on the site and did not routinely moderate or censor content. Some innocent playfulness was tolerated, such as reviews of non-businesses ( e.g. private stories, public art and memorable weather conditions), especially if they include associated photos and receive positive reviews of other peers. However, the company strongly encouraged members to participate in a sincere and mature way. Abusive or improper behaviour was strictly forbidden and could result in the deletion of the respective profile and its content, as well as possible legal consequences.
Scope of reviews
Users could review any local business that provides products or services, as well as places of interest such as public gardens and beaches. In a high-usage city such as Hamburg or Berlin a large percentage of all restaurants, bars and retail stores were listed with often numerous reviews and there was considerable competition among users to be the "first to review" a new establishment (for which the user also received an extra feedback point). There was also considerable coverage of professional services, medical providers, automotive services, cultural venues, hotels, museums, parks, attractions, government services, etc. Users could add new businesses and update business information if they notice any missing or incorrect coverage.
As Qype did not take on the responsibility for the content of reviews, it was up to the users contributing material (reviews, photos, comments etc.) to ensure the legality of the content (e.g. regarding copyright laws). Spam, including unmarked self promotions, was prohibited, as are the use of offensive language and comments on private individuals. Comments on professional positions (lawyers, doctors etc.) were allowed in principle, but are subject to local laws. This rule set was described in the Qype Code of Conduct.
- About Qype
- http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/26/yelps-european-counterpart-qype-continues-global-expansion/ according to Techcrunch
- Qype Code of Conduct
- Paidcontent.co.uk: "Qype Relaunches And Redesigns As Reviews Hit One Million"
- Techcrunch: "Yelp’s European Counterpart Qype Continues Global Expansion"
- FAZ: "Web 2.0 nimmt Gestalt an" (German)
- Guardian Unlimited: "Elevator Pitch: Qype takes local communities global"
- BBC Click Online: Evolution of the social network
- Qype Acquires Coupon Provider and Launches QypeDeals.com
- Qype inspires Apprentice win
- Yelp Pays $50M To Acquire Its Big European Rival, Qype, To Beef Up Its Recommendations And Listings Business