When the user review giant launched its Trip Friends service almost three years ago, long before the deluge of social travel sites arrived on the scene, some wondered whether the ability to mine a user’s social graph to get more information would really be a feature members wanted.
But as the message from within the organisation changed from “wisdom of crowds” to “wisdom of friends”, it became clear that Trip Friends was going to become an integral part of TripAdvisor’s strategy.
And now the numbers are starting to look pretty impressive.
The organisation says¬†that¬†just in the last quarter of 2012, more than 40 million visitors came to the site via their Facebook accounts or used the associated app on the social network, allowing them to see whether their “friends” had also visited a hotel or destination.
But are they actually DOING anything?
It appears so – one billion “open graph share actions” have taken place on the site over the course of 2012, meaning users are connecting with their friends within TripAdvisor to ask about a property, service or location.
Over a third of new reviews left on the site now come via Facebook-connected users, TripAdvisor says.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor confirmed plans to roll-out its hotel metasearch service across all platforms during 2013, following the testing programme (revealed here) which started on mobile and then extended to some desktop users.
The company’s financial results for 2012 showed a leap of 20% in revenue to $763 million (Q4 up 23% y/y to $169.4 million). Profits were climbed to $33.6 million (up 52% y/y) in Q4 and a 9% y/y increase for the full year to $194.1 million.