Could TripAdvisor turn into a social media site?

Posted on September 19, 2018


American travel review site TripAdvisor has recently revealed that it is planning on launching a social-network style component on its site dedicated to travel.

Currently, the site allows users to find deals on hotels and provides reviews for hotels and restaurants. However, the company is planning on a new website and mobile-friendly platform to be launched later this year, which according to TripAdvisor, will make it the most connected and personalised travel community on the planet.

It is in beta format at present and is set to host content from a number of major publishers, including National Geographic, as well as posts from social media influencers and popular brands. As a result, users of the site will be able to follow and interact with those individuals, publishers and companies who are providing them with information and content relevant to their travel interests.

The platform will claim to be the first “travel feed” and will let users discover more information when they are planning their holidays. As well as content from the National Geographic, other publishers signed up to the site include Business Insider, Pandora Music, CNN Travel, GoPro, and the Travel Channel.

Furthermore, alongside the 661 million reviews and comments on the site, users will be given the opportunity to create their own content, which can include articles, videos, and photos showing off their recent holidays.

A feature of the social platform will be ‘trips’, where users can create in-depth guides about their travel plans, including maps and itineraries and a list of what they want or plan to do while travelling. These trips can be kept either private or made public and be shared with other users to help and inspire other travellers.

Although it is the biggest travel site in the world, it has not been all plain sailing for TripAdvisor, which has struggled with fake reviews almost as much as social networking giant Facebook has struggled with fake news. Back in 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority investigated the company and ordered it to state that not all claims and reviews were from real travellers. This led the company to change its motto from “Reviews You Can Trust” to the current slogan of “Know better. Book better. Go better.”

The introduction of a social media platform for the travel industry could be huge, as travelling and holidays are probably one of the most talked about subjects on social media. Instagram and Pinterest and known for having stacks of images and videos of people travelling the world.

Instagram has become such a hit for posting holiday and travel snaps, millennials have even started to choose hotels based on their ‘Instagramability’ rather than price, and social media has revolutionised the travel industry and changed the way people book their trips. So, this latest move from TripAdvisor could also have an effect on travel agencies, hotel chains and even hospitality services like AirBnB.

Only time will tell whether a travel social media site is a success or not.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
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