Instagram taking over from TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews as people trust pictures more than words
I haven’t read restaurant reviews on TA for a few years now. I like to travel in SEA and only eat local food wherever I go. Last time I looked at a destination, 5 of the top 10 restaurants were burger joints and a couple of pizza joints in that 10 aswell. I prefer just to follow my nose.... TA rankings don’t suit my tastes.
I’d delete all of my previous reviews if I could figure out how.
When was the last time anybody noticed a masses of bad photos on Instagram? Of anything.
Almost never. Because it’s often reflection on the profile and status of the photographer. People want to post beautiful photos. I know doezens of people who take photos over and over until they get it perfect, or they give up.
It just won’t happen, but If it ever became a battle of words vs picture, it will be heavily skewed towards good photos. I think eateries will at some point get burned. If people stared instagramming photos that resemble nothing like their better photos (could be just bad photographer), they’ll be hounded about inconsistency
Just my $0.02Edited: 13 August 2018, 15:03
Photos alone .... no ... accompanying a written review, providing some details of 'when', 'what', and 'where', and such .... yes.
+1 to post#3
Was TA ever the best source of restaurant reviews? Not in my book.
However, as a serious foodie, willing sometimes to drop a lot of money, a few photos from some casual diner would not be my alternative either - ever! I guess it might give me a few clues of somewhere to avoid, though!
When I travel internationally I find that many of the restaurants on TA are tourist friendly restaurants and not the best local places. I use it as a guide, but commonly use other review sites.
In the United States we have both Yelp and Google Maps. If you read a restaurant review on both site it might differ in perception from users. For example Yelp users might give it 3 stars, and Google users will give it 4 stars.
I feel that there is confusion between TA Restaurant Ratings, and Reviews. Yes, a Review can have a Rating, and those are then processed through TA’s Ranking algorithm, to determine the TA Ranking, which, IMHO, is totally meaningless. As pointed out, it is a popularity contest, and the general sample group is the tourist on a budget, looking to feed the kids, to shut them up. These are not discriminating diners, by any stretch.
I maintain that if TA ran all of the ratings, through their algorithm, the “best” restaurant in the world would be a McDonalds, at the entrance to a Disney property. “Best?” No. Not even close.
However, does that negate ALL TA Restaurant Reviews? I say no, yet again. With a bit of reading - not looking at any Rating, or Ranking, one can learn so much about a restaurant.
Now, I do not follow Instagram, but if their photos are like too many on TA, I would likely never visit any restaurant on there.
Could TA do better? I think definitely, but as they move more to a booking platform, I doubt they would have the motivation to do so.
Just some observations,
Most of the people I know look first to Yelp. Naturally you have to read any reviews carefully, but Yelp allows both photos and easy access to menus. To me the menus are the most important feature when checking out a restaurant.
This might also be a matter of demographics. Older folks (like myself) wouldn't think of checking Instagram for restaurant info. Instagram may offer many things to many people. But Yelp was built on providing info on restaurants. So it is the 1st site many think of, when conducting research.
Younger folks jumped to Instagram (from Facebook) for the photo ability, and more importantly because their parents jumped on Facebook. So it understandable they might check Instagram first.
Restaurant reviews of any kind are not a priority for me. When at home, word of mouth leads me to places I want to eat at. While away, walking past a place often makes me want to go in if I like the look of it, if the smell of the food appeals, and if the place isn't deserted at what should be a busy time.
When I'm in the planning stages, I tend to find eateries that suit me by location, cuisine and price, and just check reviews to ensure that there is nothing galringly amiss there.
I would prefer a mixture of text and photo's myself, rather than just one over the other.
I couldn't help but notice that those of you who dis the restaurant reviews on TA have written relatively few TA restaurant reviews yourselves. Perhaps if you published more restaurant reviews we all would raise our feelings towards our consideration of TA's reviews. Why keep the best restaurants to yourselves rather than publicize them on TA for the benefit of the rest of us?