TripAdvisor Trots Out Social Network

TripAdvisor, that sea of au courant and sometimes complaint-driven posts about hotels, is making it easier to find like-minded travelers. The subsidiary of Expedia plans to roll out a social-networking component Friday that should help you avoid those less-than-helpful “no ice in the water” comments about foreign hotels.

While you may roll your eyes at the idea of yet another social-networking site, keep in mind that TripAdvisor, which claims 10 million unique users, has cultural custom on its side. >>Full Story | TripAdvisor Press Release

Thoughts// In the works for the last few months, the new TripAdvisor ‘Traveler Network’ takes advantage of a reported 6 million members and creates a potentially powerful social networking site. While the CNET article does make light that this is another travel-related, user-generated content site, the user traffic and marketing prowess of TripAdvisor (Expedia) should propel the new offering past a variety of other competitors.

Currently, the actual user-generated offering is fairly basic (add friends, Google Maps mashup), but considering TripAdvisor’s audience, this should be a good strategy. As the article alludes to, the next phase of the ‘Traveler Network’ should include ‘a “find travelers like me” feature for expanding your network’ and receiving more personalized recommendations.

In addition, AOT has been in contact with TripAdvisor (prior to the announcement) to evaluate this and future projects to ensure that AOT is able to take full advantage of these new product offerings.

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