Interview with Raynald Salah
During this interview in September 2019, Raynald Salah discusses his experience with virtual tours, the new Klapty adventure and his vision for the future of 360 platforms.
Good afternoon Raynald, you are the founder of YetiVisit, a 360 virtual tour solution. Can you tell me more about your experience in this area?
So, first I started my career as an IT specialist, then moved later to photography when I decided to become a certified Google StreetView photographer. At that time, I produced more than 300 virtual tours throughout the French-speaking part of Switzerland. While creating these tours, I came to realise the missed opportunities of 360. In those days, producing tours was still highly technical, and was well beyond most people's capabilities. Creating and distributing tours was difficult and involved using the right tools. The different phases were very time-consuming.
Looking into the 360 market, both from a company user perspective and from that of a photographer, which conclusions do you reach?
The situation is quite obvious; there are slightly more than 10 firms worldwide leading this market, which help users create virtual tours. Some platforms are easier to use than others, the outcome however is almost always identical. At the end of the day, they don't provide much innovation, no true added value for their clients.
What about the situation with photographers?
The main concern is the way most platforms which call upon photographers today tend to push them into a "Uber like" business model. They often don't have a direct contact with the end-client, and must answer platform requests very rapidly in order to obtain any contracts. One also notices that the artistic aspect of photography is disappearing, as the platforms apply automatic treatments to the images, thereby losing the photographer's touch. Finally, photographers often find it difficult to win new contracts and manage the administrative aspects of their activity at the same time. They often lack marketing skills, it's simply not their job.
There is therefore some kind of levelling down of the quality of what's produced?
Exactly, we are witnessing a move to highly standardised images, which removes the photographer's know-how from the production, her/his artistic touch. It also results in a levelling down of revenue for this profession. A photographer would need to be involved in 6 to 7 shootings a day on many of these online platforms to live decently.
Photographers can't therefore make a living out of these platforms or develop tight relationships with their clients.
Exactly. One of our goals with a new platform we are currently developing is to change this situation, we want to remove the "Uber like" approach to photography, in order to safeguard this profession. We want to put people back at the core of this business.
As far as this is concerned, were do you currently stand with your projects?
After identifying these different issues, we were convinced things couldn't go on this way and decided to create a platform that would be the exact opposite of those currently in the market. I can't discuss too many things regarding the Klapty project, as it's still a secret. It will provide many benefits, both to photographers and to companies wanting to produce high-quality 360 virtual tours. The new platform will be quite revolutionary.
Can you identify some of the sectors you want to target with this new solution?
Well, there are many, as we notice today that virtual tours aren't only for the real estate sector, even if 80% of agencies use them today to improve upon the traditional use of photography. Feedback we've received and our market research regarding the 360-market show that real estate is only one small part of the market. There is a demand in many other sectors, such as hotels, retailers and even in industry.
So, many sectors which don't currently use 360 tours, will soon be adopting platforms such as Klapty?
Exactly, we are already witnessing a strong adoption level in a variety of sectors, but with low added-value, due to a lack of innovative features on the existing platforms. We want to provide a strong added-value to our clients.
Coming back to the "Uber like" issue with photographers, I believe you have a few surprises for them with Klapty. Can you tell us more without revealing the secrets of the new platform?
There will be a greater flexibility for photographers, a more humane approach. They will be able to master their activity and therefore deliver better results. I'm afraid I can't tell you much more for the moment.
Posted 1 month ago