It's no longer enough to snap an Instagram-filtered photo of your latest culinary adventures. Yelp now wants reviewers to take short videos as well.
The latest version of Yelp's iPhone app lets users post videos of local restaurants, shops, and businesses, ranging from 3 to 12 seconds in length. You can create a video by hitting the middle button on the bottom of the screen, selecting "Photo or Video," choosing the business you want to review, and pressing the camcorder button. You can then select a cover image and write a caption before posting.
On some level, the new feature is a response to the short-form video craze prompted by Vine and Instagram, but Yelp seems more interested in raw footage than the kind of tightly crafted gems that can emerge from those social networks. ("We're not looking for Ken Burns-level documentary filmmaking," the company wrote in a blog post.)
As such, you can only take one continuous shot after hitting the record button. There's no way to weave multiple shots into a single video, like you can with Instagram and Vine, and Yelp doesn't allow users to upload videos they've created from outside the app. If you decide not to publish the video, Yelp discards it.
Yelp says the short, uncut footage is "great for conveying the atmosphere of a business, which helps others anticipate their experience before stopping by." It's also supposedly a boon for businesses — at least those with decent ambiance — as users already spend more time viewing business pages that have images (Then again, one might imagine video capture being utilized in less rosy scenarios, such as a dispute with restaurant staff or a cockroach sighting.)
Video capture is available on Yelp's iPhone app now, and is coming to Android soon. There's no word on support for Yelp's Windows Phone app.
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