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Digesting Yelp Photos Just Got Easier: Now Browse by Category

One of the best parts about working at Yelp is knowing that every day we get to contribute to people having great experiences at amazing local businesses. Whether it’s the perfect sandwich for your lunch or the right plumber when you’re in a jam, getting you the information you need is our highest priority.

Sometimes that information comes from the high quality reviews our enthusiastic Yelp community provides, but other times the best answer lies in a photo. As the old adage goes, a photo is worth a thousand words. 😉

Today I’m happy to announce a new way to help users find just the right information they need within the vast collection of photos our users have submitted. Photos for restaurants are now classified by category, including food, interior, outside, drink, and menu. Each photo a Yelp community member takes provides meaningful information to other people, but sometimes the exact photo you need gets buried under several screenfulls of other photos (I’m looking at you Food).

Yelp has been experimenting with using neural networks to understand the content in user photos (keep an eye on the Yelp Engineering Blog for a deeper dive into the complex world of neural networks!), so now when you need to find that interior shot to survey the ambiance of a restaurant before a birthday dinner or maybe an exterior shot to find that great tapas bar you read about in the Weekly Yelp, you can get to those photos with only one click. Now that’s service.

To check out this new feature, click on the ‘See all photos’ link on any restaurant around the world with at least 18 photos (that’s how many fit on a laptop screen without scrolling).

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You’ll notice links above the grid of images to different types of photos. If you have an idea for a new photo category, tweet it to @Yelp with the hashtag #photobucket. We’re always looking for feedback!

Photo tabbed browsing

We’re starting small with this experiment – just restaurants at first – but we’ll be exploring what other categories of businesses make sense. Also, we’re very aware you may sometimes encounter photos that we’ve misclassified. If you see one, just flag the photo and pick ‘wrong category’ as your reason from the drop down.

To leave you with a moment of zen, behold some of our mis-classified photos. Everyone can have a bad day, even a computer.

Photo tabbed browsing collage

Mis-classifications, left to right: Food, Outside, Drink