Uptake joined the social, trip-planning crowd, but it says its new feature is superior because it mines unstructured data from Facebook.
You can log-in on the Uptake homepage using your Facebook credentials to access Uptake's new Travel Q&A feature in beta and get recommendations from your Facebook friends about destinations on your bucket list.
But Uptake believes its solution is superior to those of other social travel sites, such as Gogobot, because Uptake's search technology goes beyond analyzing structured data (i.e. check-ins and places people have lived) and retrieves unstructured data (status updates, photo tags and comments) from Facebook.
"It is interesting and a good place to start," says Yen Lee, Uptake co-founder and President, of Gogobot's allegedly more limited approach, "but how many places have you lived and how many places have you checked-in?"
Travis Katz, Gogobot co-founder and CEO, didn't react to Uptake's claims about the nature of Gogobot's data, but said: "There are lots of companies these days who are trying to imitate what we are doing at Gogobot. We wish them well."
Uptake says of its new Travel Q&A feature:
This new service analyzes both friends’ explicit location data, such as hometowns and check-ins, as well as friends’ less-obvious, implicit location data, which contains nearly 70% of friends’ destinations in the form of photos, status updates and comments.
Lee claims that Uptake, using natural language search and by "structuring the unstructured data on Facebook," usually knows of more than 1,000 destinations that each Facebook user's friends have been and therefore can better determine who the Uptake user should ask for travel recommendations.
Uptake has two other major differentiators when it comes to social travel, Lee argues. Uptake's 3 million unique users in October made it the third largest trip-planning site, behind TripAdvisor and Yahoo Travel, and Uptake offers the "most comprehensive library" of activities when users are trying to get more information about their friends' recommendations, he adds.
Uptake says it has categorized 1.8 million "destination ideas, hotels, restaurants, activities and attractions."