Yelp is planning to move beyond text-based reviews (and tips) by allowing users to share brief video reviews of local businesses and places.
As Business Insider reports, the video review feature will launch next month and initially only for “Elite” users. A Yelp spokesperson tells us that the program will eventually expand to all users, but didn’t have a timeline for that.
The video reviews will be brief — between three and 12 seconds — and the user will be able to choose a cover photo to represent the review, and write a caption to go with the video. They’ll initially show up just with photos that are already associated with a business/place, but Yelp tells us the video reviews will eventually appear inline with reviews (as photos already do).
It’s an interesting-but-inevitable move for Yelp. For the longest time, Yelp resisted any reviews other than long-form, text-based reviews that were written on a desktop computer. It wasn’t until late last year that Yelp allowed reviews to be written in its mobile apps. But clearly, as consumers shift to a mobile-first lifestyle, Yelp’s old approach couldn’t survive. And as digital video continues to grow, Yelp is obviously recognizing that this is another review format that makes sense for its users.