Yelp believes a video can sometimes capture more than words, such as the ambiance, mood, and noise level of a place. That's why the reviews site is rolling out a new feature that lets users add short videos to their posts.
Yelp announced Monday that users of its iPhone app can now upload 3- to 12-second videos with their reviews. The feature for Android users is forthcoming.
"Worried your video skills are not up to par?" Yelp wrote in a blog post. "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."
Yelp said that the videos aren't meant to be video reviews, but rather snippets to embody the atmosphere of a place. For example, a video can easily show the size and space of a hotel room, the way a chef puts together various dishes, or the layout of a retail shop.
"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 wrote.
The company has long allowed for photo uploads to reviews -- it said that users add more than 23,000 images from their mobile apps every day. Yelp also said that reviews with images engage users far more than those without, with users spending 2.5 times longer on pages with photos.