Famously unreliable crowd-sourced review site Yelp is rolling out a new video feature to its army of Yelpers. According to Business Insider, the users will soon be able to upload a 12-second video with their review, much as they would upload a photo.
While 12 seconds might not be enough time to do an in-depth field report, the videos could "help reviewers fully capture the atmosphere of a restaurant" and Yelp's mobile product manager says it can "be a reward for businesses that go to great lengths to achieve a certain ambiance." The feature will be introduced for "Elite" Yelpers in June before becoming available to all users.
This video feature may well become another tool for the "food paparazzi," and yet another dining behavior that will irritate chefs. The video feature also brings to mind some of the concerns about Yelp's relatively new mobile reviews: Encouraging "live reviewing" means that Yelpers might not take the time or energy to think through what they are reporting before posting a review. Hopefully at a maximum of 12 seconds long, the videos won't devolve into a "Real Yelpers Read Yelp"-type outlet for whining about long waits or crowded bars.