Google Highlights In-Store Photography

As part of its “Places” announcement the other day, Google said it would come to your store, location or shop and take a bunch of interior photos — for free. Now the company has devoted a post to explaining this new initiative:

The photographs are shot by Google photographers who work directly with the business owner to arrange a time to do the photo shoot. Along with taking pictures of layout, facilities, and merchandise, we’ll also photograph displays on the storefront, like hours, rating decals, accessibility information, credit cards accepted, and posted menus — and all of this will be done at no cost to the business owner. These photos will also appear alongside the others on a business’ Place Page, and can help customers (and potential customers) get a better sense of what a business has to offer and what sets it apart from others.

As previously discussed European Directories has been doing this in Europe for some time. And Everyscape, which will soon announce interior and StreetView-like imagery with a bunch of partners, has been doing interior photography for several years. However Everyscape’s business model is based on charging for interior images. That will put some pressure on the company to find a hedge should Google Store View (not the official name) prove very popular.

This free, Google interior photography is going to be quite popular I’ll predict, and will serve to reinforce the value of Place Pages for businesses and consumers.

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12 Responses to “Google Highlights In-Store Photography”

  1. MrOpinionated Says:

    Still cannot understand how Google is paying for this service? Would it be portionately equivalant (content wise) to paying the drivers of the Street View crew that drove around our American streets?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    They’re going to subsidize it obviously. Prof. photographers being used.

  3. Scott Wolfgang Says:

    The scary thing about this is this content lives on Google, and thus the web, forever since there isn’t an on off switch if the SMB stops paying (how could there be when Google is offering it for free). For most SMBs, having content (i.e. photos or videos or even a place page) on Google is the same as being on the Internet so every directory and SMB product company should be very scared about this type of move since they would unlikely ever be able to charge an SMB for custom photos or videos or montages or even websites since Google now seems to want to give it all away for free.

    My question is then how does Google ever plan on making money from most SMBs (ie not dr’s, lawyers and others with huge margins and CPC budgets)? I guess they just charge $25/month for their map tags? Not sure that’s really compelling though if I am an SMB and I already have a free video, photos and a web page (i.e. a place page) from Google.

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Scott:

    Agree it puts pressure on others re pricing. Depends on how widely known or exposed this becomes.

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    There are also the more lucrative local listing ads . . . which are supposed to return this year at some point

  6. Jami Z Says:

    Does anyone know if the SMBs will own these photos? Will they be able to use these photos on their own business website an other sites (Facebook, Citysearch, Yelp)

  7. Greg Sterling Says:

    Jami:

    I don’t know the answer. I wouldn’t entirely be surprised if Google claimed the copyright but as a practical matter the SMB could simply use the images. Politically Google would hear about it if SMBs tried to use the photos on third party sites and told them no.

    Re video by analogy; in some cases the SMB pays an additional amount to be able to “own” the video and redistribute it.

  8. EveryScape Integrates into Bing Maps « Screenwerk Says:

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