tripadvisor trip friends
614 days ago
 

TripAdvisor basks in social graph integration with Facebook, eye-watering numbers revealed

TripAdvisor, wallowing in a 20% jump in revenue for 2012 compared to the previous year, also appears to be enjoying the fruits of its partnership with Facebook.

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.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. Danny Antwi

    For real and authenticated consumer experiences and reviews, @raveorbash is the true problem solver for the review space. We launch this year. Follow us or updates.

     
  2. Madhu Nair

    Interesting numbers for sure. I personally never leveraged it.
    But I think I might start using it for the following reason.
    For Hotels:
    Due to high number of fake or biased reviews, it becomes very tedious to go through the reviews to figure out whether one would want to stay at a particular place. But if I see that a friend has been there, then a) I can read his review and b) shoot him a quick email to get his opinion on the place.

     
  3. RobertKCole

    One additional and often overlooked aspect of Facebook Social Graph integration is that TripAdvisor used it to unify it email addresses – so they were able to see if the email address initially provided to TripAdvisor was the same as the Facebook email address – to connect to Facebook, you needed to use a single address.

    I’m sure that helped clean up not only some spam accounts (or at least make it harder for them to infect TripAdvisor’s new Facebook eco-system), but most importantly, given the assumption that people are inclined to use their favored “always checked” email address for Facebook, Trip Advisor undoubtedly cleaned out a lot of gmail/hotmail/webmail accounts used for secondary registrations.

    Would have to think the open rates for those updated/unified email accounts would skyrocket.

    So now TripAdvisor is more certain that a) they are dealing with real people, b) they have a better opportunity to communicate with those people and now c) those people are communicating with each other.

    That is a powerful combination.

    A number of hoteliers I speak with around the globe consider TripAdvisor Business Listings to represent one of their best ROI’s, overcoming the fact that they initially complained about the expense.

    The ROI generates because those listings direct traffic directly to the supplier, so it will be interesting to see if the introduction of more integrated meta-search starts siphoning some of that traffic off to intermediaries or raises the cost for hotels to capture high margin/low distribution cost direct business.

     
 
 

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