Why do some websites forcefully direct you to their apps?

I just googled a local movie theater that I haven’t visited in a while, just to check out the customer comments. As usual, Yelp comes up high up on the list. I was able to read one comment before it sent me to the App Store to get the app. What is the difference to Yelp whether I access their content via a website vs. their app? I do use other consumer apps and I don’t see how it would be any more profitable to them one way or the other.

I’ve mentioned many times that I habitually run my browser with JavaScript disabled. I get vastly less of all sorts of “customized behavior” in all the web sites I visit (plus, often vastly quicker page load times, since so much less stuff happens while the page loads). Less advertisements, less bizarre page behavior, less malware, less everything nasty.

To be sure, a whole lot (and increasingly many) web sites depend on JS and don’t work right without it. Many work, more-or-less, with most of their features available, often with minor formatting problems. Some sites just plain won’t work well, or not at all, with JS disabled. I mostly avoid those sites, but I enable JS for some sites that require it (like all my bank account sites and on-line bill payment places mainly).

What I would like is a button I can put on my toolbar by which I can enable/disable JS with a single click. As it is, it takes four clicks to turn JS on or off.

ETA: P.S., you may be able to find browser add-ons that enable you to enable/disable JavaScript on a per-site basis, so you won’t have to mess with toggling it all the time like I do.

Thanks. So the reason is that some websites don’t work well and an app is necessary for full functionality?

The reason for Yelp (and many others) trying to force you to install their app, is not for enhanced functionality (though that might come with the app) nor for your benefit at all.

They do so in order to increase “stickiness” so that you will use the Yelp app - and therefore be subject to whatever marketing material they wish to send you in the app.

Basically, if you are looking for a theatre review, you are more likely to think, “Oh, I’ve got Yelp installed” and use it instead of a browser.

If you use a browser and visit a Yelp page, it is likely (I don’t use Yelp so I am not certain) that page will instead of opening a browser, it will open the Yelp app. Now you are “trapped” in the Yelp-controlled environment, you’re likely to keep using the Yelp app, viewing Yelp content rather than returning to your browser and possibly a competitor.

They will also be able to get comprehensive stats about your behaviour, which they would not otherwise have got from your use of non-Yelp websites.

So, in short, the reason is evil.

What’s so evil about that? They make their money off of advertising, and being able to better target customers, and collect better data about them (for selling ads, duh!), is part and parcel of that.

There’s actual evil stuff that companies do; wanting you to use their own app barely rates. It’s like farting in an elevator style evil vs. other companies’ kicking small dogs evil.

Maybe a better way to say it is that the desire by a company to have you install and use their app vice their website is 100% for their benefit, not yours.

There’s nothing very evil about them looking out for only themselves. As long as they accept that there’s also nothing evil in me looking out only for myself.

Hint: I don’t much use apps. I do use many websites instead.

This is a good post. To add to this, with an app the company can also track your location, even when not using the app. That increases the data they have about their customers. It also allows the company to do push notifications that pop up on the phone. That means they can engage you even when you aren’t visiting their site.

Well, where’s this one forum that constantly bugs me about installing some piece of garbage called TapaTalk.

We’ve gone around that issue before. There are threads and threads in ATMB. The problem is usually a corrupted cookie cache in your browser. Fix that and you’ll have exactly one reminder ever again.

I run multiple browsers, differently configured to get around this.

WHIO - channel 7 here in Dayton continually pushes its weather app with the benefit of, “It will give you alerts even when you don’t have the app turned on!” Umm, yeah, thanks, but, you know, no thanks.