TripAdvisor and Facebook Get Friendly
The travel news of the day is clearly the announcement of TripAdvisor's deal with Facebook, and the introduction of the new TripAdvisor "Trip Friends" feature.
The Boston Business Journal went so far as to claim the Facebook-TripAdvisor partnership was "game changing," and we think they're right.
It changes the travel search paradigm. It's also a major and logical step for the review giant, because research and anecdotal evidence has shown that travelers increasingly prefer to seek advice and information about a destination or property from friends, friends of friends, and family rather than a "results neutral," impersonal search from Google.
Facebook's "Cities I've Visited (CIV)" application drives the process, and it's hugely popular. The Boston Business Journal reports that the three year old application has more than five million monthly active users, and highlights over one billion destinations that CIV travelers have visited.
It works this way. Sign into TripAdvisor, and there's a button that connects to Facebook. Then enter your TripAdvisor request, say San Francisco. Any Facebook "friend" that has been to San Francisco or who has identified it as a favorite will show up, and from there it's possible to ask about hotels, cool clubs, restaurants, etc.
PhoCusWright , the travel industry's leading market research company said that TripAdvisor's move is a "first for travel...the tip of the iceberg."
Travel then is no longer about destinations, it's about travelers sharing information about hotels, flights, activities and interests.
While travel advice has always been available from friends and family on Facebook and its "CIV" platform, the beauty of this is that one never has to leave TripAdvisor, so all the hot tips and advice from people who lived and loved in San Francisco are shared and saved to a special folder.Continued on the next page