NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Yelp (YELP), the all-purpose local business reviewer, may be the next target for a major technology company seeking to increase its reach with consumers, and that's because of one factor: user-generated content.
In an interview with TheStreet, Zillow (Z) Chairman Rich Barton argued that companies such as Yelp that feature user-generated content (UGC), are very hard to replicate. Once they've won the name recognition battle, more user content prompts begets even more user content.
"The UGC that Yelp has and that TripAdvisor (TRIP) has, those are just dreamy," Barton said in a June 11 interview. "The more content you have, it attracts the more users to it. The more users, the more content. Now you have more content, it attracts more content."
It's a waterfall, made heavier by the fury of social media.
Speculation of a Yelp buyout follows last week's announcement that Priceline.com (PCLN) would buy OpenTable (OPEN) for $2.3 billion in cash. That deal prompted attention to turn to OpenTable's competitors, Yelp being chief among them.
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