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July 28, 2014

Yelp, Camera, Action: Now Add Videos with Your Yelp Mobile App!

You may have caught wind that Yelp is introducing a feature that will allow users to add short videos that show off aspects like ambiance, lighting, noise level, and other features of local businesses not easily captured by photographs. Well, the wait is over...today that feature is available for Yelpers around the world!

User Video capture and playbackVideo capture and playback of Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, CA through the Yelp iPhone app.

Photos are a great way to add a visual element to your reviews, and Yelpers upload more than 23,000 of them from their mobile apps alone per day. We also know visuals are important to Yelpers since they spend 2.5 times longer on business pages with images than on those without. Now, using your iPhone (and soon Android) Yelp app, you can take short, 3-12 second videos of your favorite local businesses and better capture those details that photos alone can’t.

Worried your video skills are not up to par? We’re not looking for Ken Burns-level documentary filmmaking - it’s actually more helpful to see what a real-life consumer experience looks like without fancy editing or narration. These are not intended to be “video reviews,” but rather an extension of the visual experience. Sound trippy? Here’s what we mean:

These short videos are great for conveying the atmosphere of a business, which helps others anticipate their experience before stopping by. For instance, imagine scrolling through pics of delicious dishes at a new bistro but not really being able to tell if the ambiance is more “date night” or “family friendly.” Yelp video is here to help.

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Live music setting the scene for a night on the town at Tapas y Tapas in Cologne, Germany.

A video can also better convey a business’s space and size with a quick panoramic tour. Doesn’t the Ace Hotel in New York look roomy?

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Settling in to a suite at the Ace Hotel in New York, NY

It can also better highlight some of the unique elements of local businesses that make them truly special. Take Alinea in Chicago for example. You may have heard the famed restaurant features specialized molecular gastronomy fare, but did you realize dinner basically comes with a show, too? That table-side preparation is something else.

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Table-side dish preparation at Chicago’s Alinea.

Along with our millions of rich, local reviews, consumers increasingly rely on the Yelp community’s tips, business attributes, photos, and now videos to help them make better decisions on where to spend their money and which local businesses they want to support. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and put that video feature to good use!