Over the past ten years, TripAdvisor has changed how you approach trip planning.
Before the site’s founding in 2000, travelers relied on travel agents and print guide books to figure out their vacation plans.
Fast forward to 2010, travelers look to user generated content from the collective advice of millions of travelers and their experiences to help select the right hotel, restaurant, attraction or destination.
With the introduction of TripAdvisor Trip Friends, the collective wisdom of the crowds is enhanced by the wisdom of friends, allowing travelers to get incredibly relevant and personalized travel advice from the people they know best and trust most—their friends.
The social feature gives travel planning unprecedented freshness and relevance by adding the opinions of your closest contacts, supplementing TripAdvisor’s more than 35 million reviews and opinions from travelers worldwide.
This application combines the power of the most popular and largest travel community with the most popular and largest social networking site, and it is a fundamental part of our overall strategy to make travel planning more socially relevant – it’s a natural next step for us and our travelers.
At its core, TripAdvisor is a social media site with a huge base of members sharing valuable travel information and advice with each other.
Our Cities I’ve Visited app on Facebook was one of the first travel-centric applications on the Facebook Platform and is the largest with more than 5 million monthly active users and over 1 billion pins collected.
Our mobile website and mobile applications recognize the importance of providing access to TripAdvisor’s content wherever travelers choose to be online and last month alone, more than 2 million people used TripAdvisor while they were on the go.
Facebook, with 400 million users worldwide and growing, is where you find your friends, where you can send them a private message, post to your wall and comment on your friend’s posts.
We thought it was natural to allow travelers to tap into their Facebook social graph for advice when they are planning their travel on TripAdvisor.
When we set out to build TripAdvisor Trip Friends, we wanted to build a simple way for users to ask for and collect advice from their friends.
Leveraging Facebook login, we’re able to connect our global base of travelers planning trips in 14 languages with the social graph they’ve already built.
Travelers can communicate with their friends using the social feature by using functionality they are familiar using on Facebook-- by sending private emails, or posting to their wall.
While there are some “Ask & Answer” Facebook applications out there, TripAdvisor Trip Friends takes this one step further and allows travelers to filter their social graph and see which places their friends have visited, using information that their friends have made available to them.
For example, you might ask one of your friends advice about a family-friendly hotel in Seattle because she has young children, and another friend might be better suited to offer opinions on the best restaurant near the ball park, because you know he is a huge baseball fan - it’s that incredibly relevant, personalized information for you that makes TripAdvisor Trip Friends so unique.
Trip planning has been fundamentally changed once again. Our mission is to continue offering the travel community the best, freshest and most relevant travel planning information to help people plan and experience the perfect trip.
NB: This article is written by Adam Medros, vice president for global product at TripAdvisor