Online customer review site Yelp just threw many businesses for a loop: It’s now letting customers add short three-to-12-second video clips to their online reviews using Yelp’s mobile app.
The company says the new feature will help customers “better capture those details that photos alone can’t,” whether that be clips of their dining experience, a space's ambiance or the products they love in action. But for some businesses, the idea of roving customer videographers capturing footage in their business—which probably won’t always be flattering—is pretty scary.
Chris Crum at WebProNews says the addition of video to reviews “takes things up a notch. It gives people a chance to talk and capture more content. It could give an unhappy customer a chance to visually focus on a single aspect of a business, which may or may not provide a complete picture of the whole experience or even the full context.”
Small businesses need to be ready for online video reviews as they’re likely to gain a lot of traction. Photos already attract a lot of attention on Yelp; video will just up the ante. The Yelp announcement, for example, includes sample clips of bands playing and food being prepared tableside.
Yelp mobile product manager Madhu Prabaker told Business Insider that Yelp video clips will likely compel business owners to focus more on their ambience, not just their products and services: “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.”
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