In my last blog post I sited a PhoCusWright stat that 30% of travelers who use social networks report soliciting trip-planning advice from their networks. Today, TripAdvisor is making it much easier for people to solicit that advise using Facebook, the most popular social network. Starting today, TripAdvisor is bringing the data collected in the popular Application, Cities I’ve Been, into TripAdvisor, allowing visitors who have logged into TripAdvisor with their Facebook lD to see and connect with friends who have visited cities being researched.
If you’re wondering how many people are using Cities I’ve Been, the answer is ‘a lot.’ There are more than 5 million monthly active users. Unsure how many of my friends were using the app, I logged onto TripAdvisor with my Facebook ID and did a search on New York. Low and behold 108 of my friends using Cities I’ve Been have been to New York.
Now I can ask for advice in the form of a wall post to solicit feedback from all my friends, or I can privately message any of my friends. When you select wall post, TripAdvisor allows you to select from popular questions or type in your own.
I am excited to see whether TripAdvisor Trip Friends generates a lot of travel chatter on Facebook, and how this translates to hotel sales. Stay tuned.