Selfies are complicated things. They can be an act of ego, an attempt to boost self-esteem, a way to authenticate that you were really there at a historic moment, or that you met a very important person. That said, it can also be, depending on where you are and what you’re doing, just a wee bit obnoxious. But since that’s never deterred Yelp, the company’s now trying to get people to take “Yelfies.”
If you pop open Yelp to write a review, you’ll now be encouraged to take a selfie, and yes, Yelp’s insisting they be called Yelfies. Many are comparing the new feature to Snapchat, but it doesn’t appear that these selfies will self-destruct; instead they’ll be tied to reviews for all time. That’s odd considering the site’s antagonistic culture where chefs go after critics, barely coded racism runs rampant, and even incidents of stalking have all come up before. At the very least, a lifetime ban is probably incoming for some Yelper who’s left a bad review and included a Yelfie to commemorate the moment they had “the worst fish tacos in this goddamn city.”
Optimists might state that perhaps slapping your face on a review might get the more vitriolic users to dial it back a notch, but we’re pretty sure that Facebook has put paid to that idea, considering some of the terrifying comments we see with people’s real names proudly attached to them. We’ll see if there’s any merit to this selfie tool soon; it’s available on the app as of today.