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.