Straight Outta Orlando: Two New Review Apps

review appsAs a business owner, you’ve probably experienced the joy and pain of review apps. With Yelp, you have no control over which reviews are posted, even if they’re inaccurate or unfair. Yelp’s impersonal algorithm determines whether a review is legit, so the field is wide open for a range of reviews that could be be posted by a person who has never been to your business, a competitor trying to diminish your reputation, or someone who just doesn’t like your sister.

A small, local business where I worked part time some years back was targeted by false reviews on Yelp and was powerless to rectify it. The frustration was palpable. Been there? Done that? There are some alternatives in the marketplace that are sure to gain traction because not only are they better for businesses, they’re fun for users.

Two new review apps, both homegrown in Orlando, seek to offer a better process for online reviews. Since more than 40% of consumers utilize online reviews to communicate with and about businesses, this matters.


The first, UpDog, is a video review app. Reviewed capture 15 seconds of video on location of the business they’re reviewing, and post it in the app. They have the option to share their review across their selected social media channels, which makes for great, sharable content. Because the review can only be posted within a tight radius of the business’s location, the app makes it harder for users to post false reviews.

For example, your competitor’s social media support team would have to be significantly invested to create a false review. Plus, their identity is tied to the review, since users must log in through Facebook. Not many individuals are committed enough to create a fake Facebook identity and then physically go to a location to create their review. The barriers of entry are too high, and the reward too low.


Blurtbox, an app created by Shark Tank winner Julien Meyer, allows users to deliver their feedback directly to you, privately. It’s obvious that as a business you benefit from the privacy. But what’s in it for users?

When a business receives a negative review, for example, they have the ability to respond to the customer privately and settle the matter in a way that pleases the customer. The outcome is to everyone’s advantage. As a business owner, wouldn’t you be more likely to actively handle a complaint if it’s made with discretion? Blurtbox bakes respect into their process.

Some users prefer discreet reviews because they don’t want their name associated with rants or complaints. They’re interested in sharing their thoughts with businesses, but don’t necessarily want to broadcast them to the world, especially since online footprints are never erased.

Have you had a bad experience with Yelp? Do you like the sound of these new online review opportunities? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Sarah Kinbar

Sarah Kinbar is a Co-founder and Content Strategist at Orlando Content Marketing. She is a writer and editor with 20+ years of experience in publishing and communications.