TripAdvisor launches machine learning tech to auto-select primary photos

TripAdvisor has launched a new feature for primary property photos, which uses machine learning to auto select high-performing images for accommodation listings.

Let’s be honest. We judge accounts by its primary photo before we decide to click through. But it’s not because we’re too judgemental. It’s just that first impressions last and with so many ubiquitous accounts online, we just don’t have the time to analyse them all.

Now on TripAdvisor, you may have seen those badly taken photos; a slightly blurred selfie in a corridor; a close-up of the bathroom taps at a B&B; or even a picture of a road outside an inn that could be anywhere. These badly taken shots could end up as the primary photo for an accommodation business on TripAdvisor when an owner neglects to choose the proper photo.

“79% of TripAdvisor travellers said that photos were important when choosing to book an accommodation”

“We know that good photos are a key part in attracting new guests,” said Martin Verdon-Roe, VP B2B hotel product and marketing, TripAdvisor. “According to research, 79% of TripAdvisor travellers said that photos were important when choosing to book an accommodation and in more recent live site testing with partners, we can see that optimised photo selection has been shown to increase user click-through rates.”

To help businesses on the platform choose the right photo, TripAdvisor launched a new auto-select feature for primary photos. The update uses advanced machine learning technology to evaluate and select the best available primary photo for the business, considering both professional and traveller photos.

There are a number of factors which impact engagement and the tool works by analysing these factors like image resolution, orientation and sharpness, whether there are people in the photo. The machine learning has been programmed to select photos which drive higher levels of engagement from travellers, putting businesses at ease while creating a better-curated gallery on the platform.

Verdon-Roe added: “This exciting new feature capitalizes on our strength in machine learning with insights from millions of professional and traveller photos across TripAdvisor to help properties make the best first impression to our global travellers.”

Even with the update, users can still manually select their primary photo by opting out of the new auto-select feature at any time via the Management Centre.

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