Yelp adds the ability for reviewers to upload videos
Yelp will soon be allowing reviewers to upload videos to enrich reviews, after years of allowing photo uploads from mobile devices. If you’ve ever had horrible service and wanted to tell the world, but pictures just didn’t suffice, Yelp is stepping in so those videos can be crowdsourced into their platform where they’ll remain. On the flip side, if you’ve ever wanted to show the world how amazing someone’s service or product is, video is a great way to convey that, too!
The company tells Business Insider that users will be able to add three to 12 second video clips to their reviews, with the goal being that video can capture what is often missed by photos or words.
Reactions are already varied, with many expressing that this is a huge win for companies, extending their branding opportunities, but puts the vulnerable brands at risk for being exposed, which is permanently attached to their review on Yelp, which continues to grow, year after year.
“It will be a reward for businesses that go to great lengths to achieve a certain ambiance, whether by having a certain lighting or the music at just the right level,” the rep tells Business Insider.
Columnist Chris Morran reacts by noting this product manager’s comment “obviously glossing over how that carefully crafted ambiance could easily be ruined by people constantly shooting mini-movies while others are just trying to eat.”
Will this promote overreactions?
Yelpers are already accused of using the site to rant and overreact, so will Yelpers video what is around them, or will they use this opportunity to offer glorified selfies of their reactions to food, seeking the limelight? While designed to prove product and services’ quality, it will also lead to egos to use the platform to talk about themselves, not the restaurant (picture dozens of videos of people shoveling food into their mouth and filming their predictable reactions).
“Encouraging ‘live reviewing’ means that Yelpers might not take the time or energy to think through what they are reporting before posting a review,” notes Eater’s Hillary Dixler about the new feature.
“Elite” Yelpers will have access to the video feature starting this June, but the company has not stated when the rest of the Yelp world will be able to film their mean waitress or kind grocer.