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Yelp Just Got a Lot More Beautiful…Now Showcasing High Quality Images

It’s the classic dilemma… your dish finally arrives after careful and calculated decision making by perusing Yelp for review highlights and scouring through images… but before you can dig into that mouthwatering meal, you first need to get that perfect picture. And not just any picture: one with perfect lighting, symmetry, and composition. Well, fellow foodie photographer, we appreciate the craft you put into capturing those photos and now, those beautiful images are being showcased in a more prominent way.

The Photos Understanding Team at Yelp has been working hard to identify high quality photos contributed by our users. Last year, we started by training a neural network to categorize photos. Over the past year, we’ve done extensive evaluation and analysis to improve the quality of the photos shown at the top of each business page. Take a gander at some before and afters below:

Gary Danko

Original Version:

gary_danko_old

High-Quality Version:

gary_danko_new

Kunjip Restaurant

Original Version:

kunjip_old

High-Quality Version:

kunjip_new

Our work with photos is far from done. We’re identifying more types of great photos and training our systems to understand which photos to showcase on a business page’s main screen. We hope we’ve opened the door to making Yelp a more visual, modern, and beautiful experience… one food picture at a time.

Check out our technical blog, which goes into more detail on how our team was able to use AI and machine learning to train neural networks to identify these photos.