TripAdvisor uses Facebook to create Trip Friends personalised tips engine

TripAdvisor is to tap into the vast array of connections already in play via Facebook to launch its first personalised recommendation system for hotels.

The accommodation review giant has long promised a system that is more helpful to the user by providing recommendations and tips from those that may have the same requirements or preferences.

And now it looks to have done it – but perhaps not in the way many would have expected, using the vastness of the Facebook population and its existing Cities I’ve Visited application rather than building some kind of complicated profiling system within TripAdvisor itself.

The way it works is actually very simple:

Users can search for a particular destination or hotel page on TripAdvisor.

In a prominent module on the page the user can log into their Facebook account via Facebook Connect.

If the user has connection through the Cities I’ve Visited application (it currently has five million active users, so a fairly high chance that a friend will have used it), the profile will be displayed.

The user can then post a question about the destination or hotel direct to their wall from within the system or send a message to those that have signalled they visited.

trip friends 2

Once the question is live the usual Facebook tools take over, allowing friends to respond via private message or as a comment on a user’s wall.

trip friends 3

These messages are not only displayed in the user’s Facebook profile but back in the TripAdvisor system, as long as the user is still signed in with Facebook Connect.

Don’t be fooled, this system is a significant (and will probably be an extremely welcome) addition to the TripAdvisor platform and is a smart integration of a consumer’s existing use of Facebook to help customer’s get a better understanding about a destination or hotel.

The system is tapping into the social graph now seen as the number one growth potential of Facebook and will probably evolve into a wider use of the Facebook Questions project already in development.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  15. RobertKCole

    I see two MAJOR benefits to TripAdvisor, independent of the HUGE benefit of tapping into the user’s social graph:

    1)It helps provide some 3rd party validation of individuals submitting reviews. By requiring that the same e-mail address is shared by both Tripadvisor and Facebook, bogus reviews may eventually become less relevant as they would hall beyond a traveler’s social graph.

    2) People tend to use a principal e-mail address for Facebook. Personally, I use a secondary address for a lot of travel related web sites to capture the waves of offers, but to keep my primary address clear of that promotional content. Today that changed. Facebook now has my “main” e-mail address.

    An interesting question for TripAdvisor would be how many people updated their e-mail address to enable the Facebook Connect link?

    A very smart move by TripAdvisor. I would have to imagine this is only the first stage of tapping into the Facebook social graph – turning all those connections and all those “Likes” into relevant travel recommendations is an incredibly powerful capability.

    Given that TripAdvisor is owned by Expedia, this should not only assist them in driving more relevant advertising targeting Facebook users, but also in fulfillment of those travel bookings through Expedia, Hotwire, etc.

    A very smart move my Mr. Kaufer and associates.

  16. dsholes

    Anyone know if this new app will work with FB groups, so you can get tips from people who may not be in your friends network already? In spite of disadvantages of using groups, allows affinity groups to leverage the functionality.

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