Yelp's Integration of 12-Second Video Reviews: The Pros and Cons

Online video has become such a hot topic in business — especially in the restaurant industry. Nowadays, it seems everyone wants to be a media company. If Yahoo’s recent announcement of launching a video-streaming service isn’t convincing enough, consider other big platforms that are buying, or have bought, into online video: For Twitter, it’s Vine, and for Facebook-acquired Instagram, adding a video component was a natural growth for competition.

Speaking of restaurants specifically, not only is video a great way to highlight your venue and tell your brand story, but giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at things like dishes and plating hits a sweet spot, especially for the Millennial bunch, who are more inclined to want to participate and interact with brands. And that brings us to other recent news that could either be a success or a huge flop: Yelp’s recently announced plan for integrating video into its review platform. There are two sides to the story, of course: the guest’s point of view and a restaurant operators’.

For guests, being able to film short video — 12 seconds, to be exact — of their review will give other consumers who rely on reviews before visiting a restaurant a firsthand look — from the atmosphere of a venue to the too-overdone burger that was ordered. For operators and restaurant marketers, this could be a huge disadvantage because, now, it’s more than words and a poorly lit photo to get a negative reviewer's point across. However, it’s important to consider that positive reviews submitted with video offer more direct free marketing, with guests becoming more front-line brand evangelists.

Do you think reviewers will take the time to use the video feature? Will it be credible? And, more importantly, how will this affect Yelp’s reputation? Read More