Yelp To Add Video

The popular user oriented app “Yelp”, has announced they will soon be adding a video feature to their text heavy mobile app.

Yelp is an app that allows you to both read and post reviews of local businesses, giving them ratings on a 5-star basis. Many users consult this application when unsure where to go for dinner, where to get the best haircut in their local area, or with any questions regarding rated businesses. Yelp is effective because it gives users ratings, reviews and unfiltered opinions of businesses and establishments, which is why the addition of user-uploaded videos can go either way for businesses being “Yelped” about.

With the ability to upload videos of an establishment onto the establishment’s Yelp page with no permission from the owner, company, etc, users are providing a raw look at the “Yelped” location, for better or for worse.

For example, even if a restaurant is extremely well decorated, well light, and visually appealing in its website photos, a user could upload a video of that restaurant onto Yelp wherein the restaurant is very noisy, loud music, shouting waitstaff and dishes jangling in all. The loud environment of that restaurant, as made evident by a user’s Yelp video upload, may turn some people off to the restaurant, thus decreasing their chances of dining there, and harming revenues of that particular restaurant.

On the other side however, a Yelp user generated video could drive business to a local establishment that translates well in the video. If there is a nightlife spot that is relatively new to an area, a video that portrays the new establishment as being hip, fun, or unique in the video, would probably generate Yelp users to that spot.

Video footage portrays more to viewers than does a silent and still photo, or an enraged or enthused review, because the aesthetics of the establishment come through much more when viewers can see, hear, and get a better feel through live visuals!

YelpVideoAs shown in the photo to the left, (Via Mashable), users will have to, initially at least, take the videos directly off of their Yelp apps, versus uploading them post recording like Instagram allows for. This may increase the amount of Yelp users in that if people feel very passionately about an establishment, (good, bad, or ugly), they will want to upload a video to back their claims. As shown in the photo, Yelp user videos will be directly connected to the establishment they were taken with regards to, which will give users many videos to watch when they are “Yelping” said place.

Whether for better or for worse, the addition of video footage that is to be directly correlated with businesses will definitely have an impact on the reputation of that business. Though the local establishments may not want users to be avidly able to upload footage, Yelp has created for the consumer a platform to not only say what they think of a place, but now show it as well.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a Yelp video worth? For some it may be the majority of their business.

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-Haley Schluter – follow me on Twitter @haley_schluter