UPDATE: Michael Dalesandro, the CEO of Where I've Been, says his product team and TripAdvisor are already at work creating a platform "to change the way social travel works."
One current shortcoming is in "relevancy, " Dalesandro says.
In other words, there is a timeframe gap when matching travel expertise with a social relationship, says Dalesandro, who will stay on with TripAdvisor for at least three months.
For example, a friend in your social network may have visited Italy, but if the trip was 10 years ago, then how useful is the travel experience.
Dalesandro says the company is not disclosing specific plans about how TripAdvisor will integrate Where I've Been, but he adds, "We're hitting the ground running."
What he did say is that plans call for the Where I've Been app and brand to remain.
The Where I've Been product team has transitioned to TripAdvisor and other staff, including business development personnel, have already left, Dalesandro says.
AllThingsD reported that Where I've Been at its peak attacted 1.6 million monthly users, but that number has dwindled to around 70,000.
Dalesandro attributed the sharp decline to Facebook removing apps tabs in users' profiles, a move that also negatively impacted TripAdvisor's comparable Cities I've Visited Facebook app.
It was a "free lead-generation tool," Dalesandro says of the Facebook profile tabs.
The Where I've Been CEO describes his company's key assets as its email list and travel database and says the company has been discussing a transaction or partnership with TripAdvisor almost since Where I've Been was founded in 2007.
Integration of Groupon deals was not part of TripAdvisor's interest in Where I've Been, he adds.
Where I've Been had experimented with Groupon integration for a short time, and dropped it, Dalesandro says.
The original post follows:
TripAdvisor is increasing its social-travel efforts with today's announcement that it acquired Where I've Been.
With some 9.7 million members, Where I've Been features a detailed interactive map, prodding users to share places they've traveled, lived or intend to visit.
Based in Chicago, Where I've been received $750,000 in funding in April 2010 from Lightbank, which also helped kickstart Groupon. At the time, Where I've Been had upped its total funding to $1.75 million.
TripAdvisor says Where I've Been's Facebook app has enabled 10 million people to create color-coded travel maps.
"This underscores TripAdvisor's continued focus and growth in social travel," TripAdvisor says.
TripAdvisor, too, leverages social travel with its Cities I've Visited Facebook app.
The Where I've Been app enables users to upload photos and stories about their trips and to retrieve answers about their travel questions.
Where I've Been introduced Groupon deals to the mix in 2010.
No word yet from either company on how the two apps may relation to each other in the future or whether Where I've Been will continue to operate as a distinct brand.
A TripAdvisor spokesman declined to elaborate on the acquisition.
TripAdvisor says the "entire product team" from Where I've Been will now become TripAdvisor employees. Michael Dalesandro and Craig Ulliott founded Where I've Been.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition comes just a few months before Expedia Inc. is slated to spin off TripAdvisor into a public company -- which will now add Where I've Been to its portfolio.