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The Return of User Generated Photos on Amazon

In July, Amazon stopped allowing customers to add images to product pages, news that was greeted with much disappointment. In a surprise reversal, the company is once again allowing customers to upload their own images to the product page.

Amazon.com spokesperson Erik Fairleigh confirmed the return of the feature to EcommerceBytes on Wednesday, stating: “back by popular demand, customers can add images to product pages.”

In addition to being used by shoppers, the feature had been popular with certain sellers who had been prohibited from uploading images to product pages when Amazon allowed only Pro Merchants to add photos. Amazon did not delete the images as a result of the new policy, Fairleigh confirmed – “Customers and sellers who had uploaded photos prior to July should not have to re-upload photos,” he said.

Sellers can upload photos directly as usual, and now customers can once again add photos.

Amazon’s customer-uploaded image feature was designed to allow shoppers to express their opinions about what they liked or disliked about products or demonstrate how they used products. “You can think about customer uploaded images as reviews in pictures,” it had said of the feature. Fairleigh had said in July that the decision to remove the customer images was due to quality and legal concerns.

Sellers had reacted to the news with mixed feelings. Some had said they felt the customer images had nothing to do with the product they were supposed to represent, while others who had invested time in uploading photos were distraught that Amazon gave them no way to bulk move them from being a “customer” uploaded image to a “seller” uploaded image. A post on the EcommerceBytes Blog about the issue did not generate much discussion at the time.

Amazon had allowed customers to provide feedback about how they felt about it taking away the feature, including “How do you feel about the removal of the feature from Amazon.” The three choices were: Saddened; Optimisic; and Want a better replacement. It appears Amazon listened to its users.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.