TripAdvisor Taps Your Facebook Friends for Travel Recommendations
The feature uses Facebook's Instant Personalization platform to generate travel recommendations based on the cities your friends have visited, their most popular destinations, and their personal reviews of each place. All this information is gathered from the company's popular 'Cities I've Visited' Facebook app, and is displayed in a sleek graphic on the TripAdvisor homepage.
The service first integrated friend recommendations in June, but, at the time, users were required to ask for opinions, and await their friends' responses. Now, thanks to Instant Personalization, all this information is automatically generated for easy browsing. The homepage map gives a snapshot view of every city your friends have visited, while the right sidebar provides their most recent activities as well as popular destinations.
You can click on a specific city to see which friends have been there, and read their reviews and opinions. Searches for cities, hotels, or any other destination will garner lists of friends who've already been there. You can also select a specific friend from the photos on the right side of the map, and instantly see his or her entire travel history, as documented on TripAdvisor.
Ultimately, the service hinges upon your friends' activity. The more reviews and opinions they register on the site, the more personalized the recommendations will be -- assuming, of course, that you share some fundamental interests with the rest of your online social circle. But, even if they simply 'pin' their destinations, or mark their favorite cities, TripAdvisor's new feature makes it incredibly easy to consult your friends' travel logs, and get a better idea of where you might want to spend your next vacation.