In addition to TripAdvisor’s hotel photos taken by guests or submitted by hotel management, TripAdvisor now features expert photos covering more than 6,000 properties, a benefit of its 2013 acquisition of Oyster.com.
Oyster was known for its Photo Fakeouts, which contrasted the pristine, marketing-oriented images from hotel management with realistic shots taken by Oyster’s professional photographers.
TripAdvisor has now integrated this professional photography on its hotel pages, and has labeled the feature, “Expert Photos: Taken by TripAdvisor.”
These expert photos, which now cover more than 6,000 properties, aren’t just the ones that TripAdvisor picked up through the Oyster acquisition. TripAdvisor spokesperson Kevin Carter says the more than 6,000 hotels photographed by TripAdvisor experts are “more than double the number at the time of the acquisition.”
So TripAdvisor is apparently going out to more hotels with professional photographers so it can expand the breadth of its expert-photo coverage.
“Our efforts to generate more Oyster photo content are ongoing,” Carter says, although TripAdvisor doesn’t brand them as being delivered by Oyster. “We have added photos of thousands of hotels since the acquisition.”
Between its traveler photos, expert photos and management images, TripAdvisor has a depth of photo content that is unparalleled for would-be guests checking what the property really looks like in anticipation of making a reservation.
Consider, for example, the TripAdvisor page for the Delano South Beach Hotel, which features 1,307 user reviews and 703 images, including 437 traveler photos, 234 expert photos and 32 management photos. (Eleven photos have been added since I checked yesterday.)
The first two photos, including the one showing holes in the bedsheets, are TripAdvisor expert photos of rooms at the Delano South Beach hotel.
Notice that to the right of the photo is a widget to enter dates and see the prices of a stay at the property. A gallery of additional expert photos is at the bottom.
In its photography line-up on the hotel pages, TripAdvisor displays the traveler photos first, a bow to user-generated content including photos and reviews, which is the heart and soul of TripAdvisor.com.
While Oyster doesn’t get any branding in the expert photos on TripAdvisor.com, Oyster.com still exists as a standalone site. Its monthly visitor traffic was just 830,000 visits in September, according to Similarweb.
TripAdvisor didn’t respond to a question about the future of the Oyster brand.