TripAdvisor gets friendly with Facebook
Friday 18, June 2010
TripAdvisor launched the travel industry's first major implementation of the Facebook Open Graph. TripAdvisor's Trip Friends feature allows travelers to tap into their social network to find friends that can offer advice about a destination.
Trip Friends signifies how travel search and discovery processes are becoming more personalized. This is something travelers have been waiting for. They are used to tapping the wisdom of the crowds; now they get to share the wisdom of friends. Through Facebook, TripAdvisor can show travelers which of their friends have reviewed, visited or lived in a destination. Someone who searches for Barcelona hotel reviews will find a neighbor who lived there and can message that person for advice. When friends exchange dialogue and reviews, the travel experience becomes more relevant, trusted and targeted.
The power of Facebook's Open Graph is clear. This is one of its largest utilizations; a first for travel and a sign of more to come. The tip of the iceberg, it is not just about destinations. Travelers want to share information about hotels, flights, activities and interests. The Open Graph empowers us to leverage our social network to shape our decisions.
The feature is readily available to millions of travelers. Facebook recently reached 500 million global users and TripAdvisor receives 34 million monthly visitors, but the effects will be even more widespread. By harnessing the power of word of mouth, we can expect the Open Graph to have huge implications on advertising and booking. In the ever-changing world of online travel, Trip Friends is the first sighting of big changes straight ahead.
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