Yamu was started out as an idea in a hackathon back in 2011 or 2012 (I can’t remember the exact time), but it’s close to a decade. The original idea was to start something that was close to Uber or PickMe.
But when it came out, the site was more like Yelp, reviewing places, specially places to eat,and dine in Colombo.
Yamu had its fair twist and turns, it had a check in feature like Forsquare, a bit of doordash, a mobile app, and I guess it finally turned into what is more like BussFeed, a content creation farm.
One of the most interesting thing about yamu is that they keep their stats public, well stats for the last 180 days, or in some cases the whole year.
Recently I was taken to yamu by a Google result and I thought of checking the stats to see how the site was doing.
And I was surprised to see the following,
Don’t get me wrong, these numbers are still impressive for a local website and it still can generate a considerable amount of ad revenue. But how long can they keep going if the numbers are dropping by 50% every year?
I guess the reason for the downfall of Yamu has to be Google Maps and Facebook. Google maps has been more than a maps application for the last couple of years.
Now you can read local reviews and find the beast restaurants in town and also get the directions without leaving the Google maps app. And not to mention you can review the places on Google as well.
Google search app also now prioritize their own results and reviews over third party websites. And no service can beat Google in keeping up to date with locations and reviews, with the amount of data they gather everyday with search and maps.
Yamu is now owned by PickMe, when they bought it sometime back, so they have cash in their pockets and tech to back them up. Maybe PickMe will turn things around for Yamu, but only time would tell.