Yelp has announced that it will enable people to find gender-neutral restrooms when they’re out and about. The company will add a feature to its desktop and mobile versions highlighting which businesses offer them. In addition, users will soon be able to directly search for businesses that offer gender-neutral bathrooms. The definition of which is a lavatory that’s available to anyone, regardless of gender, and has a locking, single stall.
We’ve said this before, and I guess we’ve got to say it again. We don’t care which bathroom you use, so long as you wash your hands.
— Philly Public Health (@PHLPublicHealth) February 23, 2017
Like so many features of Yelp, the company will ask businesses to update their data to include such information and ask users to review those facilities. The issue of bathroom use by members of the LGBT community has become a hot topic after the White House rolled back protections for transgender people. Yelp has also co-signed an amicus brief in support of student Gavin Grimm’s pending Supreme Court case, who was blocked from using the male bathrooms in his high school.
Yelp is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, hosts and markets Yelp.com and the Yelp mobile app, which publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses, as well as the online reservation service Yelp Reservations and online food-delivery service Eat24. The company also trains small businesses in how to respond to reviews, hosts social events for reviewers, and provides data about businesses, including health inspection scores.
Yelp was founded in 2004 by former PayPal employees Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman. Yelp grew quickly and raised several rounds of funding. By 2010 it had $30 million in revenues and the website had published more than 4.5 million crowd-sourced reviews. From 2009 to 2012, Yelp expanded throughout Europe and Asia. In 2009 it entered several negotiations with Google for a potential acquisition.
Yelp became a public company in March 2012 and became profitable for the first time two years later. As of 2016, Yelp.com has 135 million monthly visitors and 95 million reviews. The company’s revenues come from businesses advertising.