Google Business Photos Now Available in India, But With Different Policies

Following previous photo projects intended for displaying interiors of business establishments in selected cities worldwide in 2010, Google turns toward India. Lanching a pilot at Hyderabad, Google will assign authorized photographers to visit business premises on agreed times upon getting approval from the owners, have themselves take 360 degree view photos and uploaded the panoramic pictures to Google Places.

Google Business Photos has recently opened in additional countries, including Japan and India, but with varying licensing and photo ownership options.

The service will bring an interactive virtual tour to its potential customers and give an idea about everything inside local businesses’ premises: layout, facilities, interiors, decoration, storefront, and products or services they offered. All of the services which will be available at other cities at later stage can be obtained by the businessmen at no cost.

The photos will appear as additional features in each business’ Place Page and across Google’s portfolio of products such as Google Search and Maps, as well. According to the FAQ page, businesses housed in Hyderabad can embed these photos into their own website and social networking pages through an HTML snippet from the Maps.

Having read global FAQ page in details, in countries where this service have already launched, it states that businesses will be given the rights to own these photos and provide a license to Google to publish it on its properties. Meanwhile the Indian portion shows that Google will own the photos, although the companies will retain the ownership of photo they uploaded.

Elsewhere, photographers who just participate — but are not employed by Google — will offer their services at a negotiable “fair market value.” In the case of India, as mentioned in above paragraph, there should be no cost to the businesses, but the freebies will be available for a limited period of time. Then after the license ends, they have to pay for it.

For the time being, Google is limiting the service to certain types of businesses, which are restaurants, cafes, spas, salons, gyms, showrooms and retail stores, but still open their door for establishments in other industries to apply.  Google will not photograph legal, medical, corporate, religious or large chain establishments.

The Business Photos platform initially launched in the US, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France, before it was expanded to Canada, Netherlands, Japan and Ireland on May 1, 2012.

Businesses interested in participating may want to sign up here.